Catholic Relief Services as a disaster relief organization: Haiti Earthquake, 2010 (2011 Report)

Table of Contents

Where we looked

All of the below was examined in December 2010.

How much did the organization raise and how much did it spend?

Dates: Jan 12, 2010- Amount donated Amount spent
Jan 29 $31.8 million1 N/A
Feb 3 $37.3 million2 N/A
Feb 17 $60.4 million3 N/A
May 10 $135.7 million4 N/A
July 8 $140.8 million5 $30.6 million6
Oct 31 $190 million $59.92 million7
Nov 29 $196 million $62.72 million8

How specific is the organization about how it spent its funds?

CRS reports a break-down of funds spent on each of nine general categories.9

CRS reports numbers of people reached with its activities and other examples of outputs.10

Non-disaster relief activities

  • In its 2009 annual report, CRS provides:
    • Break-down of expenses into general categories (HIV and AIDS, Emergency, Agriculture, Health, Education, Welfare, Peace and Justice, Small Enterprise, Program Services, Fundraising, Management and General, Public Awareness, Support Services)11
    • Stories about individual beneficiaries. In some (few) cases, specific figures are given (example: "The recently launched Tubaramure (Let's Help Them Grow) project in food-scarce Burundi—where malnutrition is common—will provide more than 102,000 expectant mothers and their young children with a complete diet, pre- and postnatal care, and classes on how to use local foods for better nutritional results.")12
    • On its main page, under “About Us,” CRS lists highlights from its work in 2009.13
    • The most detailed information we've found about CRS programs is contained in its reports on specific activities (we found about 6-12 for each of the 7 program areas.) Some of these reports provide information an particular programs, while others are on the general type of programs being administered (guidelines, etc), not on activities in specific parts of the world.14 We have found no way to determine which (and how many of) these programs are taking place in each place.


  • 1Chronicle of Philanthropy, “A Roundup of Haiti Fund Raising as of January 29”
  • 2Chronicle of Philanthropy, “American Charities Raise $709-Million for Haiti Relief, Chronicle Tally Finds.“
  • 3 Chronicle of Philanthropy, “American Charities Raise $774-Million for Haiti Relief, Chronicle Tally Finds”
  • 4Chronicle of Philanthropy, “$1.1-Billion Donated for Haiti Relief: Updated Tally”
  • 5Chronicle of Philanthropy, “6 Months After Earthquake, Haiti Struggles to Rebuild”
  • 6 “Charities that focus on long-term rebuilding have spent a smaller percentage of the funds they have received. For example, Catholic Relief Services has used only $30.6-million of the $140.8-million, or 22 percent, of the money it raised.” Chronicle of Philanthropy, “6 Months After Earthquake, Haiti Struggles to Rebuild”
  • 7

    "CRS has received more than $190 million for Haiti relief and reconstruction...
    Year-to-Date Expenses (as of October 31, 2010)...Total Earthquake Response: $59,917,561." CRS, "Breakdown of CRS Spending in Haiti in the First 9 Months."

  • 8 “Catholic Relief Charities spent 32% of the $196 million it received for Haiti.” USA Today, “Much of Aid for Haiti is Still Unspent.”
  • 9

    CRS, "Breakdown of CRS spending in Haiti in the first 9 months."

  • 10

    "CRS has made major strides in meeting desperate need since the January 12 earthquake:

    • Distributed food to nearly 900,000 people. Currently providing food to more than 90,000 students in over 270 schools, and monthly food rations to more than 100 orphanages and child-care centers in Port-au-Prince and Les Cayes, benefiting nearly 10,000 children.
    • Provided emergency shelter materials to more than 114,000 people.
    • CRS health care team performed over 960 emergency operations and conducted 62,000 outpatient consultations.
    • Supported hundreds of thousands of people with food, water, sanitation, shelter materials and protection, including at two of the largest camps for the displaced.
    • Established five "child-friendly spaces" for unaccompanied children at camps, regularly attended by more than 1,500 children.
      Installed over 600 latrines and hand-washing stations, as well as potable water tanks and inflatable water bladders, in Port-au-Prince and environs, providing an estimated
    • 375,000 gallons of water per month.
      Provided assistance to numerous local and international partners in Haiti, including
    • 164 Church partners. While the government of Haiti must play a leadership role in the recovery of Haiti, the success of the process will depend in large part on the actions of a robust civil society that defends, promotes and responds to the interests and needs of poor and marginalized Haitians. The Catholic Church of Haiti continues to be one of Haiti's most influential civil society actors and is a provider of many basic social services."

    CRS, "Haiti Quake Response."

  • 11CRS, “Annual Report 2009,” Pg 35.
  • 12

    CRS, "Annual Report 2009," Pg 9.

  • 13

    "Despite the challenges in fiscal year 2009, CRS continued to extend our reach. Here are a few highlights:

    • In fiscal year 2009, CRS responded to many emergencies: drought in Kenya, flooding in Burkina Faso and a string of disasters in Asia and the Pacific region. But responding to disasters is just part of the picture. Our mission includes helping communities develop emergency plans to help lessen the devastation caused by natural and man-made disasters.
    • Our HIV and AIDS programs directly served more than 8 million people this year. Through the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), CRS provides a wide spectrum of care, including antiretroviral treatment, in 10 countries. AIDSRelief has helped more than 450,000 people with HIV, including 175,000 who received antiretroviral treatment last year. CRS also brought help to more than 650,000 children orphaned or made vulnerable by HIV.
    • CRS is mounting other health initiatives, including distributing 2.8 million insecticide-treated mosquito nets that will help stop the spread of malaria in Niger, thanks to a grant from the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.
    • For most of us, access to water means turning on a faucet. Yet 400 million children in the world have no access to safe water and 2.6 billion people lack basic sanitation. In 2009, CRS water projects helped some of the 30 million people across the Horn of Africa affected by drought and brought water purification tools to cholera-ravaged areas of Zimbabwe and irrigation systems to rice growers in Madagascar.
    • Too many families can't send their children to school—because they can't afford to or because there isn't one. CRS is working in communities in Pakistan, Guyana, Vietnam and Rwanda to give children, youth and adults a bridge to a better future.
    • Many roads lead to peace, but in much of the world there are also many detours. In 2009, CRS continued to serve people affected by ongoing violence in Sudan, Zimbabwe, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Afghanistan and the Middle East. We also provided job training to help women steer clear of human trafficking.
    • This year saw the completion of our five-year Indian Ocean tsunami rebuilding and recovery effort. Thanks to the overwhelming generosity of the American people, CRS has renovated or built more than 13,000 permanent homes in India, Indonesia and Sri Lanka. In Aceh province, Indonesia, we worked on more than 300 community infrastructure projects, including construction of a Mother and Child Hospital in Banda Aceh, the first of its kind in the region.
    • Catholics across the United States continue to embrace Operation Rice Bowl each year as part of their Lenten practice of fasting, praying and almsgiving. In 34 years, a total of $167 million has been collected to help those in need, both overseas and in U.S. dioceses."

    CRS, “About Us: Financial Information.”

  • 14

    CRS, “Publications Catalog: Agriculture and Environment.”
    CRS, “Publications Catalog: Education.”
    CRS, “Publications Catalog: Health.”
    CRS, “Publications Catalog: HIV and AIDS.”
    CRS, “Publications Catalog: Microfinance.”
    CRS, “Publications Catalog: Peacebuilding.”
    CRS, “Publications Catalog: Water and Sanitation.”

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