Inner City Press

Inner City Press -- Investigative Reporting From the Inner City to Wall Street to the United Nations

These reports are usually available through Google News and on Lexis-Nexis

  Search Search WWW (censored?)

In Other Media-eg Nigeria, Zim, Georgia, Nepal, Somalia, Azerbaijan, Gambia Click here to contact us     .


Home -

These reports are usually available through Google News and on Lexis-Nexis


Subscribe to RSS feed

Video (new)

Reuters AlertNet 8/17/07

Reuters AlertNet 7/14/07

Support this work by buying this book

Click on cover for secure site orders

also includes "Toxic Credit in the Global Inner City"




Bank Beat

Freedom of Information

How to Contact Us

On Haiti, While US Says $70M of Obama's $100M Through UN, US Overhead Costs Listed When Other Countries' Arent

By Matthew Russell Lee, Exclusive

UNITED NATIONS, January 20 -- How aid to Haiti is being accounted for appears unclear. The UN has asked for $562 million; US President Barack Obama has announced $100 million in American aid. Inner City Press has asked both the UN and US whether Obama's $100 million will be part of the UN's $562 million flash appeal, and has received three different answers, none consistent with the UN web site.

Inner City Press asked Deputy U.S. Permanent Representative Alejandro Wolff, who said on camera at the Security Council stakeout that "the one hundred million dollars that have been announced is bilateral contributions to the Haitian Government. We will also be contributing a significant amount to the Flash Appeal, which should be announced shortly." Video here, from Minute 4:24.

  Later, to its credit, the US Mission to the UN called Inner City Press and said this was not correct, that in fact $70 million of the $100 million announced by President Obama would be part of the UN flash appeal. For this proposition, the US Mission helpfully sent a link to the UN web site.

   The difficulty is that the UN's "List of all commitments / contributions and pledges as of 20 January, 2010," numerous US pledges and expenditures are listed and counted, some of which are explicitly labeled "bilateral," and $36 million of which are USFEMA search and rescue. Click here for the UN link, here for copy saved by Inner City Press as it appeared on the afternoon of January 20, 2010.

UN's Ban and US' Obama, overhead costs in, other nations' not

   Listed by the UN for the United States --

United States of America USAID 50,000 0

United States of America USAID Administrative costs 70,930 0

To provide three Dominican Public Hospitals

near the Haiti border crossing at Jiman with

medications and supplies

United States of America USAID 1,000,000 0

United States of America USAID Logistics and relief supplies 1,350,000 0

United States of America USDOD Logistics and relief items 1,500,000 0

United States of America WHO Basic health services 5,000,000 0

United States of America IOM to be allocated to specific projects 7,000,000 0

United States of America USAID Logistics and relief supplies 7,893,641 0

United States of America WFP to be allocated to specific projects 10,000,000 0

United States of America USDHHS Health (USAID/OFDA) 13,000,000 0

United States of America USFEMA Search and rescue (USAID/OFDA) 36,000,000 0

United States of America WFP Food aid 48,000,000 0

   The listings for China, by contrast, includes $4.4 million for "humanitarian aid, including medicines, tents,
food, emergency lights, clothing and water," but puts no value for China's search and rescue effort -- ''50-member rescue team; three
sniffer dogs" -- which came by air from China less than three hours after the earthquake. Similar flights and food from Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Greece, Iran, Israel, Mexico, Netherlands, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, the UAE, South Africa, "Taiwan (Province of China)" and Canada are also given zero value as of January 20.

  Canada's "Disaster Emergency Response Team deployed to Haiti; C-17 aircraft full of medical aid and a pair of search and rescue helicopters" is, as of January 20, valued at zero by the UN. So are 60 Cuban doctors. For France Morocco and South Korea, on the other hand, every listed item is given a dollar value.

  On January 20, Inner City Press asked top UN humanitarian John Holmes about this. Before the press conference monitor cut the questions off, Holmes said that "we depend on member states to give us [information]...they will decide, they don't give to us." Video here, from Minute 23:31.

  To a skeptic it appears that both the UN and the Obama Administration want to make it appear that unlike previously, the US is now working through the UN. But the American funds listed on the UN web site, to which the US Mission to the UN referred Inner City Press, are nearly entirely bilateral, or even simply US expenditures on, apparently, its own administrative costs ($70,930).

  Back on January 15, Inner City Press asked UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon if there would be an independent watchdog -- to audit and report on how aid is spent, and if donors following through on their loud pledges.

  Mr. Ban replied that "there needs to be some transparency as well as accountability on how this money should be effectively and properly used. That we will discuss later."

 That "later," it would seem, has arrived. The time is now.

Footnote: also listed by the UN as contribution are tabacconist Philip Morris' parent company Altria, multi level marketing concern Amway, the "Build a Bear Workshop Foundation," $3000 from Burger King, Dollar General Corporation, food speculator Cargill, Go Daddy -- a cynic wondered, why not Moussa Dadis Camara?

* * *

On Haiti, Ban Says All Through UN, Through U.S. Not, Watchdog Possible, Staff Questions

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, January 15 -- UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, in his third day in a room of addressing the Press about Haiti, declined to Friday to provide casualty figures, leaving that for his spokesman Martin Nesirky. Inner City Press asked Mr. Ban, in light of his call that all aid be "coordinated" through the UN, whether the $100 million announced by U.S. President Barack Obama will be part of the UN's $550 million flash appeal.

Mr. Ban answered that giving money NOT through the UN is a decision that any sovereign government can make. Only yesterday, he said that increased U.S. military presence in Haiti would be coordinated with the UN, or as some reporters heard it, under UN control.

Already, there is a call for an independent aid monitor. Inner City Press asked Ban about the idea. Ban said yes, there is a need for transparency, the idea will be studied. Notably, after Cyclone Nargis in Myanmar, the UN allowed millions of dollars in aid to be taken by the Than Shwe government, as exposed by Inner City Press. The UN at first denied it, then admitted it, then later downplayed it.

Nesirky came back after Ban and took very few questions. The paper of record asked about visits to national staff members homes, which the Deputy SRSG described in response to Inner City Press' question on January 15, but only as to UNDP. Nesirky said the visits are continuing.

But are the peacekeeping mission's national Haitian staff all being visited?

Bill Clinton taps UN's Ban, coordination and watchdog not yet shown

  In terms of now 38 deaths among the "UN presence in Haiti," on January 14 the briefers from Haiti said that deaths are only listed once families are informed, which is coordinated through UN headquarters in New York.

But is that the process for national Haitian staff? Nesirky took no more questions. So here's another: what about contractors who worked for the UN? At UN headquarters in New York, the cooking and cleaning and even UN TV is done by contractors, many of whom have worked in and for the UN for more than a decade. But such contractors would not show up or be counted, as the UN is doing it. Watch this site.

 Click here for an Inner City Press YouTube channel video, mostly UN Headquarters footage, about civilian deaths in Sri Lanka.

Click here for Inner City Press' March 27 UN debate

Click here for Inner City Press March 12 UN (and AIG bailout) debate

Click here for Inner City Press' Feb 26 UN debate

Click here for Feb. 12 debate on Sri Lanka

Click here for Inner City Press' Jan. 16, 2009 debate about Gaza

Click here for Inner City Press' review-of-2008 UN Top Ten debate

Click here for Inner City Press' December 24 debate on UN budget, Niger

Click here from Inner City Press' December 12 debate on UN double standards

Click here for Inner City Press' November 25 debate on Somalia, politics

and this October 17 debate, on Security Council and Obama and the UN.

* * *

These reports are usually also available through Google News and on Lexis-Nexis.

Click here for a Reuters AlertNet piece by this correspondent about Uganda's Lord's Resistance Army. Click here for an earlier Reuters AlertNet piece about the Somali National Reconciliation Congress, and the UN's $200,000 contribution from an undefined trust fund.  Video Analysis here

Feedback: Editorial [at]

UN Office: S-453A, UN, NY 10017 USA Tel: 212-963-1439

Reporter's mobile (and weekends): 718-716-3540

  Search  Search WWW (censored?)

Other, earlier Inner City Press are listed here, and some are available in the ProQuest service, and now on Lexis-Nexis.

            Copyright 2006-08 Inner City Press, Inc. To request reprint or other permission, e-contact Editorial [at] -