We were so incensed by the way the scandal of Oxfam was being presented, and how the issue of the money collected and whether it reached people was not mentioned, that some of us wrote this letter to The Guardian. It gave us a chance to focus public attention on the way that Haitians in particular have been robbed after the devastating earthquake in 2010. So called NGOs did not deliver what the international public, with small donations, on small budgets, wanted them to have.
|This letter was published in The Guardian yesterday, the online version is still to be corrected.
The Guardian Letters 13 Feb 2018
NGO crimes go far beyond Oxfam
Figures for earthquake relief range from $10bn to $13.4bn. Some of us who visited Haiti have seen little or no sign of that money, write activists
Poster seen in window of an Oxfam bookshop, Glasgow.
Eddie Le Cointe
We got a few Caribbean people including our Haitian point of reference and a few others of us dedicated to Haiti to express a slice of our experience of Haitian suffering which has given us great pain.
Clearly the NGOs have now become an unaccountable substitute for aid budgets of the UK and other countries. Once the governments fund, the NGOs must promote whatever political and economic interests the funders want pursued.
If funding is the aim and the object of so called charitable organisations, what they do is determined by what it will earn not what it will accomplish for the people they are supposed to be helping. The amount of money collected ($10-13.4 billon) is consistently camouflaged. We don’t know how many people died or were permanently maimed, etc., because this money given for them did not go to them. Hardly anyone has mentioned this in all that we have read.
Some aid workers blew the whistle and told us what was really going on. We owe great thanks to them because they went against the grain and this is not easy for people to do, though it is a habit that must be cultivated by all of us.
In addition one journalist who writes for the Sunday Mail and cannot be considered left wing described how “aid workers” were eating in posh restaurants where outside people were starving. With friends like that who needs enemies.
Some of us who visited Haiti had seen small charities doing work connected with cholera that UN troops had imposed who were dedicated and quietly effective.
We have no idea how those who work for the large NGOs are recruited and how their dedication, or lack of it, is gauged. But it is clear that they have recruited people who are interested in sex with children. Also we know that when they leave one charity they can get a job with another, whatever have been their crimes. How does this happen? They each now have to explain. Were they given references, for example?
We do know that charities were anxious for their name/logo to be photographed in situ so they could claim that they were helping; even Israel was quickly on the spot with doctors and cameras – for two weeks. Then they left.
Now we know that the charities are another way we the public are being fleeced. The Charity Commission has never complained above a whisper about this fleecing. It has been considered above suspicion. Now we must ask what corruption they are involved in.
Some years ago a malicious complaint was made about our small charity to count and value women’s unwaged work. The Charity Commission went through every piece of paper, every receipt and invoice. It took us weeks to prepare and explain. At the end of it we were given a clean bill of health but we were exhausted. Why were we challenged in this way? Because we had challenged women’s poverty and had no big-shot patrons. But the big charities are like the banks, too big to fail. Or rather too big for their failure to result in their demise.
Replies to our letter are coming in and we will be posting them soon.