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Archive for Thursday, February 4, 2010

Pace of giving slows for Haiti relief effort

February 4, 2010

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2010 Haiti Earthquake

A 7.0 magnitude earthquake occurred 10 miles southwest of Port-au-Prince on Jan. 12, causing widespread devastation in Haiti's capital and throughout the country.

— In the three weeks since a catastrophic earthquake hit Haiti, the American public has donated more than $644 million for relief efforts — yet already there’s concern that the generosity will fade even as dire needs persist.

As of Wednesday, according to a running tally by the Chronicle of Philanthropy, private donations to major organizations engaged in Haiti relief totaled $644 million — roughly on pace with some other big disasters of the recent past.

Patrick Rooney, executive director of Indiana University’s Center on Philanthropy, said the three-week total surpassed the pace for the 2004 Asian tsunami, ran slightly behind the pace after the 9/11 terror attacks and was well behind the flow of donations after Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans in 2005.

Long-term, donations in response to those disasters kept growing for many months — reaching $1.9 billion for the tsunami, $2.8 billion for 9/11 and more than $5 billion for Katrina and other Gulf Coast hurricanes, according to the philanthropy center’s calculations.

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