Archive for the Haiti Category

Outrageous Salaries For Charity Bosses

Posted in America, Britain, Canada, England, Haiti, Modern World, News, Theft, UK, USA with tags , , , , on 12/10/2015 by floroy1942

When the charity boxes rattle in front of you and you are asked for a donation it might be wise to think twice these days. It has been revealed that charity organization bosses are earning six-figure salaries from the money that you give to help others, and to me that is not right.

Helping Others

Helping Others

People give donations thinking that the money goes to help those who are suffering, but much of it is siphoned off to pay these bosses exorbitant salaries among other things. It is sad that charities are now a business just like any other and a way to make money, instead of being a scheme to help those afflicted with terrible illnesses, people in Africa who are starving, and those struck by natural disasters.

Harpal Kumar - Laughing All The Way To The Bank!

Harpal Kumar – Laughing All The Way To The Bank!

It has been revealed that nine executives at Cancer Research UK receive an annual salary higher than that of the Prime Minister, which includes chief executive Harpal Kumar who pockets up to £240,000 a year. He lives in a luxury £1.6m home in north-west London with no mortgage.

Another such person is Peter Wanless, CEO of the NSPCC, who earns £162,000 per year – £40,000 more than his predecessor Andrew Flanagan.

Olive Cooke, 92

Olive Cooke, 92

These are two of many charities that bombarded Olive Cooke, 92, herself a charity worker, with requests for money before she killed herself last month in sheer desperation. Personally I think that people who make a living from those who donate money for good causes is despicable.

While I do not deny that these organizations do give help to the needy, they are not as effective as in years gone by, and much of the money does not get where it’s needed. In very many cases people give generously thinking the money goes to help such people, but these days they are often having ‘the wool pulled over their eyes’ as the saying goes. While those doing the collecting and working in the local offices are unpaid, there are people who make a good living from charity work.

Haiti 2010 - Utter Devastation.

Haiti 2010 – Utter Devastation.

There is much wrong with charity organizations today as was evidenced by the scandals that barely made the headlines a year after the Haiti earthquake five years ago which killed more than 230,000 people and injured over 300,000. It also caused 1.5 million people to be displaced. In all $13.34 billion were donated by governments worldwide and by charity organizations. Governments and charity organizations were quick to step in after the capital Port Au Prince was flattened, but over time much of the aid money never materialized. Two years after the catastrophic event very little of the debris had been cleared and the people were still living in cardboard shelters. So much for many of the charitable donations!

It has been shown that many charities collected millions world-wide for this disaster but eventually much of the money so generously donated was siphoned off and put in bank accounts to accrue interest instead of going to the people who desperately needed it. The entire idea of charity work is a long way from what it was forty years ago, which is sad.

Roy.

Haiti – Two Years On!

Posted in Britain, Europe, Haiti, United Nations, USA with tags , , , , , on 13/01/2012 by floroy1942

It’s now two years since the devastating earthquake hit the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince, killing 300,000 people and making more than 1.5 million homeless. Now two full years later, the same 1.5 million people are still living in squalid conditions in tents, and only half of the rubble that was Port-au-Prince has been cleared to allow new building.

Collecting the Dead

When the earth shook at 16.53 hrs on the 12th January 2010 Haiti’s capital was for a greater part destroyed and a third of its 900,000 population were killed. Aid arrived within days in an attempt to ease the suffering of the people, and more to the point, many billions of dollars were promised in aid by many nations to enable recovery. In truth, not much of the that money ever showed up where it was needed.

Rubble Clearance - A Massive Job

Some countries considered cancelling Haiti’s debt to themselves sufficient help in the country’s hour of need, as if  you can use a cancelled debt to house a family? In other cases only a fraction of the money actually arrived, some not at all. Many millions were raised by well known charities, and a year ago much of the donated money was still residing in bank accounts making interest because the organizations wanted to save the money for long term projects. Another year has not made much of a difference, except to the interest.

Tent City

As in most situations of this sort, a big part of the problem was corruption all along the money chain. Many people made fortunes out of siphoned off goods or cash. Meanwhile, some half-a-million Haitians still live in shocking conditions and disease is rife.

The President of Haiti, Michel Martelly has promised renewed efforts to re-house some 20,000 people, but in many areas the rubble from the destroyed buildings still lays where it fell.

Canada - Still On the Job!

Thankfully there is one country with a conscience, Canada, which is donating a further $20 million to get this necessary work completed. Despite this extra effort by the Canadian government it will still be many years before the scars left by the earthquake have disappeared, although many of the mental scars may never heal.

Roy

When Disaster Strikes – Haiti Versus Japan

Posted in Britain, Environment, Europe, Haiti, Oceans, Pacific, UK, United Nations, USA with tags , , , , , , , , on 17/04/2011 by floroy1942

Whenever disaster strikes, a media frenzy ensues followed by countries scurrying to offer the most money for reconstruction and humanitarian aid.

It has almost gotten to the stage where it has become a game among the richest nations to see who can ‘pledge’ the most. The offers are well intended, but the country that is suffering rarely gets to see all the money that is initially promised. It is worthy to note that some South American states and Arab nations made no effort whatsoever to donate or assist in the disaster while even tiny countries like Andorra managed to raise funds.

This Guardian report shows the amount of donations by country:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/datablog/2010/jan/14/haiti-quake-aid-pledges-country-donations

A Haitian Victim

This scenario was nowhere more evident than the earthquake that hit Haiti, where pledges were in excess of $14 billion for immediate aid on the ground, and cash donations to help in the recovery. Much of the money has still to materialise, and probably never will.

Many nations considered the cancelling of debts owed to them by the Haitian government to be a sufficient donation to rebuild the country, which sadly was of no use to the Haitian people at that time when thousands were dead, and with their capitol razed to the ground.

Haiti Earthquake:

Emergency Aid Team – Haiti

The response of individuals, charity organizations, and rescue teams was immediate and their contribution gratefully received, but alas, the flow of money from countries making huge pledges for clearing the rubble and rebuilding left much to be desired.

Now, some 20 months after the disaster, Haitians are not much better off than they were a year ago. Less than 5% of the rubble has been cleared, and tens of thousands still live in makeshift emergency camps.

Haiti – One Year On:

And now we have another world catastrophe on our hands in the form of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan. Once again a country needs the assistance and monetary help of others to overcome a disaster, although to a much lessor degree than Haiti.

Japan Tsunami:

Japan Earthquake Aftermath

Naturally, Haiti and Japan are poles apart when it comes to wealth, and I might add, importance. Haiti is an impoverished island in the Caribbean, while Japan is a major player on the world stage with an economy Haitians can only dream about. As always, a huge effort was made on the part of individuals, organizations, and in some cases governments, from across the world after the initial impact. Much was done to rescue people from the rubble left by the huge  wave that hit the coast.

Japan Relief Effort:

The United States military among others were mobilised to bring initial aid to the survivors in a coordinated effort with the Japanese. Most of the aid money pledged to the Japan disaster relief effort appears at the moment to be coming from private sources with celeb’s and sports stars etc. making donations.

It is true that as Japan is among the world’s most successful economies, there is no requirement for massive donations of cash to aid the recovery. For the most part, I think the nation has received what it needed most, and that was experts on the ground to help with the immediate aftermath.

Aid Teams In Japan

Like Haiti, Japan now has many thousands of its citizens living in emergency accommodation and like Haiti, a huge area of devastation must be cleared before new houses, shops and other businesses can be built. The one big question that comes to mind is , how will Japan cope in comparison to Haiti?

It’s my bet that all signs of this latest disaster will have long disappeared in Japan while the citizens of Haiti are still trying to clear the rubble of their country’s capitol. Personally, I doubt if they will be over their troubles in five years time, such is the shortness of memory of world governments as they move on to the next catastrophe.

It is clear that Japan’s infrastructure is far better able to cope with such an event than that of Haiti, but also, on the world scene Japan is of much more importance than poor impoverished Haiti, and this will be reflected in how quickly the two countries get back to normal.

All nations who have economic ties with Japan will certainly want to see the country back on it’s feet quickly so that business can get back to normal. As for Haiti, well that’s something else isn’t it?

Roy.

Related post:

https://floroy1942.wordpress.com/2010/07/18/haiti-what-happened-to-all-the-money/

Haiti One Year On – So Where Is The Money?

Posted in Britain, Children, Christianity, England, Environment, Europe, Germany, Government Spending, Haiti, Health, UK, UN, United Nations, USA with tags , , , on 18/02/2011 by floroy1942

One Year On, Are These People Better Off?

How does it make you feel to know that donations given by you to aid the suffering in Haiti following the 2010 devastating earthquake remains in banks, while the people go hungry, and 98% of the damage remains uncleared? I must admit to a great anger at the many charity organisations that are reaping the benefits of other peoples misfortune.

Death and Destruction

The sort of money we are talking about is in the hundreds of millions, spread across various charities known around the world like the Red Cross and the Catholic Relief Fund. While the Haitian people are trying to make the best of their destroyed homes, suffer cholera outbreaks, hunger and death, the charities are holding on to the money that can alleviate this suffering, saying it will be used for long-term improvements in the country. By the time they get to releasing the funds there may not be many people left!

It Can Only Help If You Put It To Use!

While the people suffer, the urgently needed money sits in bank accounts across the world, no doubt making huge amounts of interest for the charity. All this goes to strengthen my long term belief that many charities these days are nothing more than another money-making racket.

I must admit I have not donated money to any of the big well-known charities for years based on this principal. For when I hear that so-and-so, chairman of such-and-such charity is on a salary of $400,000 a year it makes me think.

It's All In The Eyes Of A Child

If I donate $10, the people in need will see on average less than $2 after the charity has extracted all its costs (fair) and salaries (exorbitant)  from the amount. I find it most distasteful that the upper echelon of world charity organisations should earn such huge amounts when working for charity.

Money is given freely by the general public in the belief that it will help ease the suffering of those less fortunate, and it is a system that has worked for a very long time, until the ‘moneymen’ stepped in.

Working To Save Others - A Noble Task.

The sad thing is, most of the people who ask you for a donation, i.e. the collectors, are all unpaid volunteers who believe what they are doing is helping the unfortunates get their lives back together, and indeed saving lives. The sad truth is, they are first helping to line the pockets of individuals at the top of the tree taking home huge salaries at the expense of the victims they are supposedly trying to help. No matter how big the organization, it does not justify the sort of salary scales prevalent in the charity business.

But most damning of all, with relation to Haiti, the money is still floundering in banks instead of being used to relieve the suffering of the Haitian people by providing food, and essential equipment to get their towns and cities rebuilt. For me there is no excuse for delays in releasing the funds to get vital work done, like supplying fresh drinking water to combat the cholera outbreak.

We Have Barely Scratched The Surface.

Now, one year on, only a miserable 2% of the devastation suffered in Puerto Prince has been cleared. I know it is a huge job, and I know it takes time, but 2% in a whole year, that is not acceptable!

Perhaps the effort should be governed and co-ordinated by the United Nations to a greater degree than it is. Perhaps they should decide how the money is to be spent, and more importantly, when! For if it is left up to the charities themselves it could be another ten years before the Haitian people see the money.

It is perhaps time we let these charities know that when we, the people, donate freely to help others in need, our intention is for the money to go to the people not the bureaucrats.

Cholera Strikes!

To be fair, I know it costs money to collect and transport the requirements to any disaster area, and the specialists carrying out the work do need to be paid, and to be honest, I have no qualms about this. To buy and ship 10,000 tents for example needs a lot of cash, and I am sure no-one would disagree. It’s a shame however that many companies supplying the required goods do not feel justified in selling to the charities ‘at cost’ rather than insisting on their profit margin.

Ideal For The Task

I have long held the view that it would do no financial harm to a company making for example, excavators, bulldozers and trucks, to donate say a day’s production, perhaps four or five machines to the Haiti cause. The effort of rubble clearance in Puerto Prince could be greatly accelerated should some companies do this. Unfortunately we are talking big business, and the word charity has no meaning in such circles!

Red Cross Volunteer At Work

Thankfully, there are still aid organisations where more than 50% of donations go to their intended target, but you have to search really hard to find them, and I must also add, that while I may criticise many charity organisations, most are well-minded people who do a good job of work in relieving the suffering around the world. Without these aid groups, and in particular the people working for them, the world would be a sadder place.

Whichever way you look at it, the definition of the word charity has undergone some changes in recent decades, and no longer carries the full meaning it used to have. I can only hope that people can find a way to put pressure on the many organisations in this field.

Roy.



The “Power’ Drug

Posted in Ahmadinajad, Elections, Free Speech, Government, Haiti, Health, Human Rights, Insanity, Iran, Modern World, MP's, North Korea, President, Riot, Somaila, UN, United Nations with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 19/12/2010 by floroy1942

...and you will do as I say, or else!

History has shown us time and again the steps some power-hungry people will take to consolidate their grip on power. One only has to go back to the Second World War and look at the profiles of men like Adolph Hitler and Joseph Stalin, to find out what some men are capable of in the their quest to remain in control of a country and its people. Today is no different, even though the tactics used by some have changed.

Stalin - The Russian Butcher

Just as in the past, repression of free speech and all dissension against them is used by many, but today the approach by others is more subtle. Voting by the people for their leaders has been a common practice for many years, but these days one can no longer rely on this democratic process.

In recent years, country after country around the world has been embroiled in dispute, and even civil war, after so-called free elections. Famous among these are Zimbabwe, Iran, Myanmar, Kenya, Sudan, Somalia, Kazakhstan, Georgia, and so the list goes on.

Mugabe - His Countries Assassin.

In many countries like Zimbabwe and North Korea, dissension is a thing of the past, for any word uttered against the leader means instant death. President Mugabe hit the world headlines during the last general election in 2008 when he actually lost to the opposition, the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).

Zanu Victims

Prior to the next round of voting, Mugabe supporters began a reign of terror, carried out mainly by his ZANU party members, who roamed the streets killing, or chopping off the limbs of opposition supporters with machetes.

It was diplomatic pressure from the rest of the world that finally forced Mugabe to accept a supposed power-sharing deal with his opponent Norman Tsvangari, who became Prime Minister. There is little doubt however that the true power remained in the hands of the president.  Lately it has been announced that the deal, which is due for review in February next year, will be scrapped by Mugabe.

Kim Jong-il the Death Merchant.

North Korea, like China, is a totalitarian regime with all the power in the hands of Kim Jong-il who took over from his father Kim Jong-sung when he died in 1994. Even a careless word that is overheard will lead to a lengthy, if not life time period of detention in the infamous labour camps which have been likened to the concentration camps of the Nazi’s.

The Opposition in a Cage - Suu Kyi

Myanmar (Burma) by contrast, solved the opposition problem by annulling the 1990 election in which the National League for Democracy under Aung San Suu Kyi won an overwhelming victory. The military junta placed Aung San Suu Kyi under house arrest where she has spent the greater part of the time since 1990 despite international calls for her release.

Currently, we have Haiti and the Ivory Coast in turmoil because of ‘rigged’ elections.

The problem in Ivory Coast is so severe, that it would seem civil war is imminent. Two contenders for the leadership, and now two separate leaders, each with their own ‘government’ vying for power over the whole country which is currently split North/South. The United Nations have told the ‘out-going’ president, Laurent GBagbo that he should stand aside, but to no avail. It would take but a small spark to ignite this tinderbox.

Haiti meanwhile, has its own cross to bear, exacerbated by the fact the country has still not recovered from the devastating earthquake this year, and the following cholera epidemic. But still the politicians vie for power and control.

Chavez - Ambitious Showman

There are also dictators in the making such as Hugo Chavez in Venezuela. After coming to power in 1999 he survived a coup d’etat attempt in 2002 and then set about strengthening his position by removing the requirement under the countries constitution for presidents to serve no more than two terms in office. Since then he has further consolidated his power by taking full control of government.

Lukoshenko - Cementing a Position of Power

The West is also accusing Lukashenko of Belarus of following in the footsteps of Hugo Chavez. In 2004 he also changed the constitution, removing the maximum of two terms for a president. While it seems certain he will once again be voted in as president during the current elections, few doubt that the results have been corrupted.

It makes me wonder why these people are so in love with power, for with power comes huge responsibility.

Cholera Victim - Zimbabwe

If you run a country you are supposed to care for your people by making sure they have jobs, suitable housing, and education. The power mongers it seems, care little for this side of the job. In fact, in countries like Zimbabwe, there is 85% unemployment, rampant cholera, starvation and death. In North Korea there is also widespread starvation and disease.

So what do these megalomaniacs gain from this? They are by rote, extravagantly rich from all the money they siphon off for themselves, they have the power of life and death over the people they govern, and quite often have a significant influence on their neighbouring countries e.g. North/South Korea. They also have political standing in the world, mingling with world leaders and top politicians at many top conferences, and the United Nations at will.

Personally I fail to see the attraction of it all, but there is little doubt many do.

Roy.



Haiti – What Happened to All the Money?

Posted in Britain, Environment, Haiti, Insanity, Modern World, Somaila, UN, United Nations with tags , , , , , , , , on 18/07/2010 by floroy1942

In times of crisis countries and governments are quick to offer aid and funds to people inflicted with disaster, as happened in Haiti on January 12th of this year. But now, six months on, has the lot of the Haitian people improved much? The sad answer is; No!

Devastation to Port Au Prince

Devastation to Port Au Prince

Country after country that has suffered a natural disaster, and the indescribable hardship to its population, face the same barren fact that the rich countries seldom live up to their promises. People made homeless, such as the Haitian population of Port Au Prince, continue living in makeshift shanties made of cardboard and wood scraps. So why are the Haitian people still living in shanty towns?

1 Billion Dollars

The EU promised $474m; Brazil $210m; The UK $32.7m; France $10.4m; the USA $100m, and Canada $131.5m. This is only the tip of the iceberg, for many smaller nations also pledged money for the relief of the suffering in Haiti.

In total, some $5.3 billion from 60 nations was pledged to help the Haitian people get their infrastructure back in some sort of working order, of that only 10% has actually been delivered, and most of that as cancelled debt. This means that very little has actually arrived to repair the devastation to the country’s infrastructure, in which little has changed. So why have the pledges not been fulfilled?

It would seem that after the disaster dropped from the world headlines, many governments took a second look at the huge amounts of money they had donated in haste, and the whole question of paying the pledges dropped into the quagmire of politics and bureaucracy, and will of course in time, be totally forgotten. 

Shanty Town

In the last 50 years the world has reeled to 33 natural disasters, everything from famine, drought, earthquakes, hurricanes and epidemics and the total number of casualties registers in the billions. When disaster strikes it is natural for countries to seek outside help, for no one country has the money or resources to battle such an event alone. Even the United States was offered, and accepted, outside help for Hurricane Katrina.

Haiti Tent City

I am still of the opinion that an international organisation should be set up for the immediate, and long-term recovery of nations struck by natural disasters (I refer you to my blog Haiti Earthquake – Why Was the World Not Better Prepared? of 25 January 2010).

A Caribbean Hurricane

We are of course to blame, for our reliance on fossil fuels and our desperate need to own a car will be our undoing.

Meanwhile, the people of Haiti, Bangladesh, Africa and many others, continue to survive in squalor because nations cannot live up to their promises.

It is time for a change of strategy for YOU may be next!

Roy.


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