While the death toll rises we cannot discourage financial aid to Haiti, but nor can we rely solely on the good hearts of men. As reported by the BBC 500 million USD were reported missing from the financial aid for the 2004 tsunami.
Transparency International Sri Lanka (TISL) not only blamed authorities but has also blamed donors for not doing their part. TISL had this to say:
The difference between the disbursed and the expended has been a controversial issue that does not have a credible explanation. While some officials were reluctant to divulge the information, there were some responsible bodies, who implied that the funds have been utilized by the government for other purposes.
TISL has called for an audit in the meantime saying:
When the higher officials at Auditor General’s Department of Sri Lanka were contacted in December 2009, TISL was informed that there is no audit conducted on funds received for Tsunami Reconstruction process since the last audit by the former Auditor General in 2005.
I am not against helping those less fortunate countries – I wish that all American foreign aid could be voluntary and non-governmental – however, the United States Congress does have a right to oversee the money sent to countries in foreign aid efforts.