News and analysis
June 09, 2015

Red Cross Faces Another Call for Congressional Inquiry

A media report alleging the American Red Cross misspent the $500 million it raised to help victims of the 2010 earthquake in Haiti has prompted another call for a congressional investigation of the beleaguered organization.

A June 8 news release from Democratic Rep. Rick Nolan of Minnesota states that he wrote a letter to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee saying "the allegations of waste and mismanagement in Haiti are extremely disturbing, and I believe the Red Cross should be accorded the opportunity to tell their side of the story to Congress and the public."

In an email response, the organization said, "The Red Cross is happy to talk with any member of Congress who has questions about our relief work in Haiti, or elsewhere.”

ProPublica and National Public Radio have jointly reported a series of investigative pieces examining the group's financial reporting and disaster relief efforts. Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) requested information from the Red Cross in January in response to the series.

The Red Cross responded to the latest piece about Haiti that it is "disappointed, once again, by the lack of balance, context, and accuracy in the most recent reporting by ProPublica/NPR, which follows the pattern of all their previous Red Cross stories."

The Red Cross also stated that the funds it raised for Haiti have helped "build and operate eight hospitals and clinics, stem a deadly cholera outbreak, provide clean water and sanitation, and move more than 100,000 people out of makeshift tents into safe and improved housing."

Send an e-mail to Rebecca Koenig.