NEW YORK, USA, Monday November 28, 2011 – International hip hop star Wyclef Jean has denied that his charity Yele Haiti fraudulently used funds raised for victims of the January 2010 earthquake.
The claim was made in a New York Post article that said less than a third of the US$16 million raised for earthquake relief was used for emergency efforts.
Another US$1 million was reportedly paid to Amisphere Farm Labor Inc. That company failed to complete the necessary paperwork to be incorporated in Florida.
However, the Haiti-born star said in a statement that the claims were “misleading, deceptive and incomplete.”
“The percentage of funds used is consistent with NGOs and Not For Profits operating in Haiti at the time,” he said.
“I have acknowledged that Yele has made mistakes in the past, including being late in IRS filings, but that is old news. When I entered politics last summer, I transitioned from being a board member and chairman of Yele Haiti to a supporter. The new and good news is that Yele under new leadership, despite efforts to undermine its credibility and effectiveness, continues its mission to serve people in need.”
According to the Grammy-award winning musician, the decisions made by Yele, which he co-founded in 2005, were in response to one of the world’s most catastrophic natural disasters in modern history that required an immediate humanitarian action.
“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,” he said.
“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.”
Jean pointed out that the charity rebuilt an orphanage, built a temporary assistance facility, and constructed outdoor toilet and shower facilities in Cite Soliel, one of the largest slums in Port-au-Prince.
He said too that Amisphere Farm Labor prepared and delivered close to 100,000 meals for earthquake victims.