Wyclef Jean responds to some questions raised by TheSmokingGun, the AP, and others:
I had expected that they would arrange some event in Haiti to answer some of the many questions raised. I never thought he was a "crook," ever. I don't think anyone else said he was, either. Only that there was some sloppy IRS paperwork, questionable accounting, and very little organization to speak of. All of those things can be true of a bona fide and well intentioned philanthropist.
My only complaint about any of this is how it was presented as as huge relief effort, when in fact, it's a very small organization with no resources to even begin to assemble or distribute such massive aid.
Yele isn't a disaster relief organization… but rather, it's a humanitarian mission. That's important and ongoing, but not the immediate crisis that millions of dollars are being raised for. Donors want to know that huge supplies of water, food, medicine and shelter are being delivered on the ground–and right now. Experience proves that it's very large organizations that are best able to do that kinda of work. Just today, the Red Cross boasted of delivering a plant that can produce "10,000 gallons of water a day." That's about 20,000 people a day, in a city of 2 million. Every dollar counts. While the poverty of Haiti is gruesome and sad, it's also a long term problem. Right now, we have a short term crisis that needs huge funding to prevent massive loss of life.
Whatever the nature of this, videos are often designed to deflect. I hope this one is not, and that he's sincere. I hope he has asked someone at Yele to find some documentation, so his fans and donors are not just relying on a video appeal for his cred.
I hope some of these Yele partners will step forward and make donors comfortable that they are receiving support from Yele/Wyclef's fundraising. That would go a long way toward settling the questions TSG and others raised, and he can get on with his obviously sincere and passionate desire to help Haiti and its people.Tweet