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One Year After Haiti’s Quake, U.S. Gov't and Corporations Still Have Unfulfilled Pledges

As coverage pours in around the anniversary of Haiti's earthquake, an update on a few promises of aid left unfulfilled.

2:30 pm: This post has been updated.

One year after an earthquake shook Haiti and devastated its infrastructure, a number of stories are pouring out from the country about its tent cities, its rampant problem with rape, the massive amount of rubble that still exists—and the houses that still don’t.

Much of the emergency aid from governments and charities went to basic services meant to keep people alive temporarily—tents, tarps, food and medical aid. The Miami Herald reported, however, that reconstruction aid hasn’t come in quite as quickly:

And while the private money is going fast, the $2 billion governments around the world pledged to spend in 2010 on reconstruction, experts agree, remain mostly on drawing boards and in bank accounts.

The U.S. government, for one, has pledged $1.15 billion to reconstruction. Mother Jones reported that though the government has spent more than a billion on emergency aid for Haiti, only $120 million of the funding it pledged for reconstruction has arrived.

Many large U.S. corporations also pledged funds to Haiti after the quake. While some of that money has been sent, a few companies haven’t yet made good on their promises. Here’s Mother Jones’ tally from last week:

GE has sent the $5.6 million it promised. Google has delivered the $1 million it pledged, Citi has sent $1.5 million out of $2 million and says the rest is on the way, and Wal-Mart committed $500,000—but then forked over $1.5 million, plus food and blankets.

… Bank of America has donated only a third of its promised $1.5 million, and MasterCard has given only $250,000 of the $4.75 million it pledged to give.

We’ve called a few of the companies and will update if anything has changed.

Update: Bank of America told me that it recently fulfilled its funding commitment to Haiti, which totaled $1 million—not the $1.5 million cited in previous reports. Citi told me its remaining $500,000 is still outstanding.

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