• In Haiti, Little Can Be Found of a Hip-Hop Artist’s Charity – N.Y. Times
  • Coinciding with the release of Wyclef Jean’s memoir, the New York Times released a scathing report on Jean’s failed Haiti charity, which officially closed last month after numerous accusations of the organization’s lack of accountability and failed projects.

    The Times report raised questions on the expenditures of Yele Haiti—including a side-by-side comparison to the NGO supported by Sean Penn, J/P Haitian Relief Organization—and found Yele Haiti’s millions raised in fundraising went to Jean’s personal expenses and employed family and friends with little results on the ground in Haiti.

    Yele Haiti was one of several NGOs operating in Haiti that did not provide accountable information during Disaster Accountability Project’s One Year Follow-Up Report. Read the full detailed version of that report here.

    Vermont’s sole representative in the House said many local governments, small business owners and individuals are still struggling through the complicated FEMA application process more than 13 months after Hurricane Irene ravaged the state.

    Welch said the state’s U.S. Congressional representation are working to address the ongoing flaws in the application system with FEMA while small governments, businesses and families still wait to hear whether they’ll receive any storm-related financial assistance. He said he spoke with the Small Business Administration to assist business owners who have difficulty maneuvering the financial information required by FEMA and has tried to intervene so local governments know whether they will be reimbursed for storm costs. Individuals have reported that they have received different answers from different representatives concerning deadlines and whether reimbursement has been approved.

    Hurricane Irene left billions in damage after it made landfall in North Carolina and moved northeast. In Vermont, the state suffered $700 million in road repairs after residents were left isolated when the infrastructure was washed away.

    The likelihood that New England would experience another earthquake doubled after a 4.0 magnitude registered in Maine last week. It was the first 4.0-or-higher earthquake registered in New England since 2006 when a 4.2 magnitude earthquake registered in Maine.

    Probabilities of earthquake activity is gathered by averages and after the 4.0 struck in Maine, the likelihood of experiencing an earthquake in New England jumped from 9 percent to 22 percent. The earthquake last week came as a surprise throughout New England, an area that is not known for experiencing strong earthquakes. The epicenter of the 4.0 was registered near Hollis Center, Maine, but its effects were felt throughout New England.

    The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration held a grand opening for a disaster planning and response center in Mobile, Ala. that will serve as a coordination point for federal and local emergency partners in the Gulf.

    By consolidating several Gulf-area programs, the Gulf of Mexico Disaster Response Center looks to streamline response to emergencies relating to natural disasters in the Gulf region. Programs will include navigation response crafts and teams, experts in oil and chemical spill response, incident meteorology, damage assessment, habitat conservation and restoration planning, marine debris, nautical charting and navigation safety.

    The 15,200-square foot facility will host conference space, offices, training rooms and multi-functional space for drills and response operations.
    For more recent news stories concerning natural disasters and accountability, please visit Disaster Accountability Project’s News Aggregator.