Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Philanthropic Response to the earthquake in Haiti: What Went Right? What Went Wrong?

Leaders of several charities that provided assistance in Haiti after the 2010 earthquake recently participated in a roundtable discussion. The 8 organizations – Water Missions International, Partners In Health, Convoy of Hope, CARE, AmeriCares, Food For The Poor, American Red Cross, Save the Children – spoke about what went right, what went wrong, how they are monitoring their performance, what role charities should play in these types of disasters, how this disaster is different from others, what they’ve learned from this experience and what’s next for their charity in Haiti. Here are a few of their comments:


  • “There is a direct correlation between media attention focused on a disaster and how involved and informed the public becomes as a result. Before making donations, donors should research the organization’s responsiveness to confirm that a long-term, cohesive approach is possible and will be appropriately handled.”~ Food For The Poor

  • “Some of the largest and most experienced disaster relief organizations said that the earthquake was one of the more complicated disasters to which they have had to respond.”~ Partners In Health

  • “The hurdles of identifying appropriate land and resolving questions about land ownership, on top of large amounts of uncleared rubble, have slowed the process of building shelters. While we are beginning to make some progress on this front, no one is satisfied with the pace of progress.”~ American Red Cross


  • “In terms of scale and impact, the Jan. 12 earthquake was the largest and most devastating we had responded to since the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami.”~CARE







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