Donors pledged an estimated $4.6 billion in the aftermath of the earthquake, according to the UN yet, only 43 percent of those relief funds have been disbursed and more than 500,000 Haitians still remain homeless. Part of the problem, watchdog groups say, is that charities spent a considerable amount of money on soaring rents, board members’ needs, overpriced supplies and imported personnel, the Miami Herald reports.
“A lot of good work was done; the money clearly didn’t all get squandered,” Jake Johnston, a researcher at The Center for Economic Policy Research, told the Miami Herald. “A lot just wasn’t responding to needs on the ground. Millions were spent on ad campaigns telling people to wash their hands. Telling them to wash their hands when there’s no water or soap is a slap in the face.”