When and how did the Red Cross join the transitional shelter and housing construction party? They would probably claim that's part and parcel of disaster relief work. But by what method did they take in $488 million for Haiti earthquake relief and wind up building six houses in five years?
The loss of funding means that in months, thousands of patients -- people we have the tools, skills, and expertise to save -- will become sick, and hundreds more may needlessly die. This wouldn't be accepted in a wealthy country. And we're not willing to accept it in Haiti.
The key may be in Haiti's time-tested agricultural or faming tradition and expertise. Workers are ready to work and the lucky ones have cooperatives led by people who care about their employees' well-being.
When you dash in and out of people's lives, whatever assistance you offer is always limited, and sometimes entirely hamstrung, by the complexity of a new and separate reality. If I am grasping nothing else, it's that Haiti's reality is very complex.
Inside this crew, there's a core group of folks that are determined to take this quiet competence and use it to contribute to solving bigger problems -- all while being ready for sound check at 4:00 p.m.
The Disaster Accountability Project found that of the 197 organizations identified as soliciting money for their activities in Haiti following the earthquake only six have provided factual situation reports itemizing their activities.