By Carly Kilroy
Wyclef Jean released a statement on Monday (November 28) defending accusations from The New York Post, which state that his Yele Haiti charity organization has misused their funds. The Post claims that Jean’s organization, which he started with his cousin [Jerry Duplessis] in 2005, did not use donations to properly assist residents of Haiti, after a devastating earthquake shook the country on January 12, 2010. The article says that less than a third of the $16 million Yele Haiti raised in 2010 actually benefited Haitians and went on to scrutinize questionable payments made to businesses that are either tied to Jean’s family, or received inflated amounts of money. Here’s what Jean had to say about The New York Post’s “incomplete” story.
“I started Yele in 2005 because I wanted to help people that were helpless in my home country of Haiti. People who didn’t have a voice, people who didn’t have resources, people who had mostly been forgotten. Since Yele launched six years ago we have helped close to half a million people. I will always love and serve the Haitian people until the day I die.
The NY Post piece entitled, “Questions Dog Wyclef’s Haiti Fund” is misleading, deceptive and incomplete. The Post conveniently fails to acknowledge that the decisions that Yele made were a response to one of the world’s most catastrophic natural disasters in modern history and required an immediate humanitarian response.
There were no roads, no clean water, no sanitation, no banks, no electricity, no infrastructure. Immediate decisions were made to save lives and alleviate suffering. We made decisions that enabled us to provide emergency assistance in the midst of chaos and we stand by those decisions. We did the best we could with the available resources. I am proud of the way that Yele handled the crisis on the ground in 2010. We were able to feed, clothe, provide medical assistance and shelter for more than 250 thousand people in need.
What the article doesn’t say is that the construction projects funded by Yele Haiti were responsible for rebuilding an orphanage, building a temporary assistance facility, and had constructed a system of out door toilet and shower facilities in Cite Soliel one of the largest slums in Port-au-Prince.
The Post never highlights that Amisphere Farm Labor was responsible for preparing and delivering close to 100,000 meals.
The Samosa SA property referenced by The Post was located in the vicinity of the largest tent camps in Port-au-Prince. Yele chose that location because it was closest to the people it needed serve.”