Saturday, March 6, 2010

Billions for Haiti, a criticism for every dollar

Children wait for the inauguration of a school that will be run by an Israeli NGO at a camp for earthquake survivors in Port-au-Prince, Friday, March 5, 2010.
(AP Photo/Esteban Felix)
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti – The world's bill for the Haitian earthquake is large and growing — now $2.2 billion — and so is the criticism about how the money is being spent.
A half-million homeless received tarps and tents; far more are still waiting under soggy bed sheets in camps that reek of human waste. More than 4.3 million people got emergency food rations; few will be able to feed themselves anytime soon. Medical aid went to thousands, but long-term care isn't even on the horizon.
International aid groups and officials readily acknowledge they are overwhelmed by the scale of the disaster. Haitian leaders — frustrated that billions are bypassing them in favor of U.N. agencies and American and other non-governmental organizations — are whipping up sentiment against foreign aid groups they say have gone out of control...

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