Wyclef Jean has responded to allegations by the New York Post that his charity, the Yele Haiti Foundation, misused funds it collected for relief efforts following the devastating earthquake in his home country in 2009. Wyclef has called the article "misleading, deceptive and incomplete."
Following an article published Sunday in which the Post claimed Yele Haiti has, to date, used only a third of the $16 million collected for aid, and that it paid $1 million to a Florida contracting firm that allegedly doesn't exist, the rapper and philanthropist issued the following statement in defense of his charity and its management.
"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," he continued.
"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."
He went on to point out, "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 outdoor 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," he also noted. "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."
"All of these facts as well as photos and testimonials were readily available to the Post for their story. Unfortunately, they chose not to include these facts and instead chose to imply that Yele 'squandered' donors money. Nothing could be further from the truth. Finally, the percentage of funds used is consistent with NGOs and Not For Profits operating in Haiti at the time. I have acknowledged that Yele has made mistakes in the past, including being late in IRS filings, but that is old news."
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