Did Your Haiti Donations Ever Get Spent?

| Thu Jan. 5, 2012 3:00 PM PST

Why yes, according to a new report by the Chronicle of Philanthropy, most of them did. Since the earthquake that devastated the country nearly two years ago, two-thirds of the $2.1 billion aid organizations have collected has gone to rebuilding or otherwise helping Haiti. That's a significant improvement over what the Chronicle found six months after the quake, when less than half the money had been utilized.

Not that two-thirds of the work is finished, however. "There are still 500,000 people in camps, there's still a very broken health system, and there's still endemic cholera and very little access to water and sanitation," says one NGO director interviewed for the survey. Though there are substantial millions remaining, it's not enough to get everything on aid groups' wishlists done—or to handle something like a full-blown cholera crisis. Since donations have tapered way off after the initial postquake fundraising bonanza, some groups are still offering encouragement to would-be donors. "It's not hopeless," Food for the Poor executive director Angel Aloma tells the Chronicle, "it's just slow."

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