Free Markets, Free People
UN: Haiti mission money spent mostly on staff
If, like millions of Americans, you’ve been moved by the plight of the poor Haitians in the wake of the recent and terrible killer earthquake, and want to contribute to their relief, may I make a suggestion? Don’t send your hard earned money to the UN. It would most likely not be used to help the Haitians. Instead, you’ll probably help pay for some UN staffer’s catered lunch.
Yes friends, as usual, the UN’s Haiti mission is redefining “bureaucratic efficiency”. Charged with relief and “peacekeeping” duties, most of the budget is being spent – on themselves.
The United Nations has quietly upped this year’s peacekeeping budget for earthquake-shattered Haiti to $732.4 million, with two-thirds of that amount going for the salary, perks and upkeep of its own personnel, not residents of the devastated island.
The world organization plans to spend the money on an expanded force of some 12,675 soldiers and police, plus some 479 international staffers, 669 international contract personnel, and 1,300 local workers, just for the 12 months ending June 30, 2010.
Some $495.8 million goes for salaries, benefits, hazard pay, mandatory allowances and upkeep for the peacekeepers and their international staff support. Only about $33.9 million, or 4.6 percent, of that salary total is going to what the U.N. calls “national staff” attached to the peacekeeping effort.
Presumably, the budget also includes at least part of some $10 million that the U.N. has spent on renting two passenger vessels, the Sea Voyager (known to some U.N. staffers as the “Love Boat“) and the Ola Esmeralda, for a minimum of 90 days each, as highly subsidized housing for some of its peacekeepers and humanitarian staff. The tab for the two vessels, which offer catered food, linen service and comfortable staterooms and lounges, is about $112,500 per day.
So in essence, about $235 million of that $732 million dollar budget is actually going to Haitian relief. Certainly everyone recognizes it costs money to put relief workers and peacekeeping troops in to a situation such as that, but imagine, if you will, the outcry if a private charity was found to be only using 22% of its money to actually do the job for which it was donated, and, instead had spent the bulk on the things the UN seems to think take priority over relief for Haitians.
Then remember that in the total scheme of UN things, the US pays 27% of its budget. That means, if we break it down by shares, that the US taxpayer – that’s you – has “contributed” almost $199 million to the UN Haitian boondoggle with $133 million going to the Love boat, et al.
Tell me again why we continue to sponsor this wretched third world debating club?