The Red Cross has come out in defense of itself following a damning report of wasted funds by ProPublica and NPR earlier in the week. However, some may still be skeptical about the mega-charity’s claims.
The report asserted that the Red Cross had raised nearly half a billion dollars in charity fundraising following the devastating earthquake in Haiti in 2010, but had only built six permanent homes.
The Red Cross said that it was “disappointed…by the lack of balance, context and accuracy” in the report and “follow[ed] the pattern of all their previous Red Cross stories.”
The organization also said that although it did not build permanent homes, the money was put towards building and operating eight hospitals and helped lessen the effects of a cholera outbreak. “When land was not available for new homes, the Red Cross provided a range of housing solutions including rental subsides, repairs and retrofitting of existing structures.”
The organization went on to say that it answered over 100 questions in writing, though it did not specify if these were answered to the outlets conducting the report.
This sounds all well and good, however a few things may still give readers and potential donators pause about the organization and their refutation of the report.
The Red Cross has not been forthcoming about the way funds were spent on specific projects so it is difficult to tell if the somewhat vague accomplishments they listed as having achieved would actually have used the nearly half a billion in funds. This new press release also doesn’t do anything to explain away the Red Cross internal memos that ProPublica got a hold of. In these memos senior staff complained about things like inappropriate behavior with workers and severe mismanagement.