Website Launched To Track Aid To Haiti From ‘Pledge To Impact’

Agence France-Presse reports that the U.N. has launched “a new website to track the estimated 9.9 billion dollars in aid pledged to Haiti by the international community in the wake of a devastating January 12 earthquake.” The website is a joint project of the Haitian government and the U.N. Development Programme (UNDP). The new portal aims to ensure “transparency and accountability,” according to a UNDP press release.  “The system tracks the money from pledge to impact,” the release said.

Nigel Fished, U.N. resident coordinator, said, “We see this tool as an important and critical component of Haiti’s reconstruction process … We believe it addresses all the concerns of the international community as to how the funds will be spent, by whom and for what. It also provides a portal through which the people of Haiti can monitor use of the funds and hold their elected representatives accountable for how those funds are spent” (4/22).

In related news, CBS Evening News examines the Haitian government’s efforts to minimize the amount of food aid it receives. “Pulling back on aid means something a lot of American donors might find unthinkable. Even as many go without meals, relief food that’s already made it to Haiti is now being sent to warehouses for future disasters. USAID calls it ‘prepositioning,'” CBS writes.

“The shift away from free food on a massive scale has been done quietly in Haiti and it has opened a can of worms. Relief officials who need to keep donations flowing worry that once word gets out, people will be less likely to give. Others say donations meant for earthquake relief shouldn’t now be used for something else,” CBS reports. The article includes quotes from an aid worker on the ground and a USAID employee (Attkisson, 4/21).

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