First $35 million distributed from Haiti telethon


“Hope for Haiti Now” (HFHN) on announced the distribution of $35M as the first installment of funds raised through the January 22nd telethon: “Hope for Haiti Now: A Global Benefit for Earthquake Relief.” The next distribution is planned for May, when it is expected that all of the $66 million pledged will have been received.

Six of the telethon beneficiaries – Oxfam America, Partners In Health, the American Red Cross, UNICEF, United Nations World Food Programme, and Yele Haiti Foundation – submitted proposals last week. After an intensive review process and guidance from the “Hope for Haiti Now” Advisory Committee and Bridgespan, a management consulting group that advises non-profits; the Entertainment Industry Foundation (EIF) and HFHN are allocating $35 million to begin funding both immediate disaster relief and reconstruction and recovery efforts in Haiti. EIF is the 501(c)(3) organization providing pro bono philanthropic support for the Haiti telethon effort.

EIF, MTV Networks and George Clooney, the telethon’s principal organizer, say they are committed to ensuring that the donated funds are quickly and effectively put to use in Haiti. As part of the grant allocations, “Hope for Haiti Now” is providing specific descriptions of how each organization will use funds for relief efforts and immediate rebuilding initiatives. The organizations receiving funds at this time were selected as beneficiaries for their history of operation and collaboration within the nongovernmental organization (NGO) community in Haiti. One beneficiary, the newly formed Clinton Bush Haiti Fund, will request funds in the next round to go to recovery and rebuilding efforts.

“In less than two weeks since the telethon, the first $35 million raised is en route to address dire needs in Haiti – to provide food, water, shelter, medical care and other vital resources. The counsel of our advisory committee members was critical in rapidly getting us to this point, We are extremely grateful to them for their time and expert guidance, and to everyone who donated so generously,” said Clooney.

Here is how “Hope for Haiti Now” is allocating the first $35 million:

— OXFAM AMERICA:  $8 million to build systems for clean water and safe sanitation, deliver shelter and relief supplies, and work on lasting solutions for food security, housing and land issues.

— PARTNERS IN HEALTH: $8 million to provide emergency medical assistance and supplies, strengthen the public health system, and provide rehabilitation, social support and economic assistance to survivors.

— AMERICAN RED CROSS: $6 million to supply emergency shelter & non-food relief items to vulnerable families, specifically targeting female-headed households, the disabled, elderly, and the disadvantaged.

— UNICEF: $6 million to coordinate the immediate protection of children; prevent and respond to family separations; support the psycho-social needs of families & children; and prevent child exploitation for trafficking.

— UNITED NATIONS WORLD FOOD PROGRAMME: $6 million to ensure the distribution of meals and other life-saving food assistance to the most vulnerable earthquake victims in urban and rural areas over the next six months.
— YELE HAITI FOUNDATION: $1 million to promote community mobilization in major underserved neighborhoods to coordinate aid  delivery and support recovery efforts.

“There is still a massive and urgent need for food, water, and other vital resources to reach the countless people suffering on the ground in Haiti – children, families – millions who are displaced and homeless. These funds will help to save lives now as Haiti begins to rebuild for the long-term,” said Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti Director Brian Concannon, one of the advisory committee members with Haitian relief work expertise.

All partner organizations are required to meet the highest standards of transparency, accountability and effectiveness. Each organization will report regularly to “Hope for Haiti Now” on how the funds are being used on the ground in Haiti. Field reports and real-time updates will be provided to keep the public informed of the progress of relief and recovery efforts. The impact of immediate assistance will be closely monitored and assessed each month before additional funds are distributed.

The “Hope for Haiti Now” telethon aired on January 22, 2010 and featured 24 performers in Los Angeles, New York and London, as well as over 100 celebrity participants answering phones and taking donations. “Hope for Haiti Now” was produced by Joel Gallen and Tenth Planet Productions, in collaboration with Viacom’s MTV Networks and George Clooney.

“The response from other networks and the entertainment community, both in the U.S. and internationally, was remarkable. In just a few days, we went from a phone call from George Clooney to a program that aired on over 100 networks in 60 countries on six continents. We are so grateful to all of our colleagues for joining us in communicating the urgency of Haiti’s immediate needs,” said MTV Networks Chairman & CEO Judy McGrath.

With slightly more than half of the $66 million pledged being distributed now, the next allocation of funds is planned for May after all donations have been received. Funds pledged will continue to be collected for the next 60-90 days, the organizers said.