The Korean National Red Cross (KNRC)
came under fire for its slack
management of funds for the victims of
the Haiti earthquake.
It has spent only 1.2 billion won ($1
million) or 12.8 percent of the 9.7
billion won in total donations raised
so far though it has been nine months
since the natural disaster took place,
according to Rep. Kang Myung-soon of
the Grand National Party.
Most of the money spent so far was
used to cover the costs for activities
by the medical teams, Kang said.
During an audit by the National
Assembly into the
Tuesday, the improper use of donations
Of the total funds, 6.6 billion won
has been sitting idly in two term
deposit accounts, and only a
negligible amount of money has been
used to directly assist the Haiti
Of the 1.2 billion won, only 675
million won has been used to benefit
the victims firsthand through the
international Red Cross, while the
rest covered the airfare for the
international Red Cross medical team,
and other operational costs, she said.
The lawmaker also denounced the
organization for providing high-end
hotel lodging for the medical team in
the Dominican Republic before they
crossed the Haitian border. She
claimed that they stayed at a pricey
hotel and even consumed six bottles of
soju at 10,000 won per bottle.
“They should have been more prudent
in spending money collected through
the goodwill of ordinary donators,”
The Red Cross was also blamed for
saving the leftover donations in the
bank. Two accounts hold 3.3 billion
won each. “Why would the Red Cross
need to save it in a bank when there
are people in need of assistance that
the money could provide? The
organization promised to spend the
money by next year, but I seriously
doubt that,” she said.
For its part, the Red Cross explained
that it had deposited the money for
“In the case of the earthquake in
China or Tsunami in the Southeast
Asian countries, the money was spent
over a period of several years.
International experts also confirmed
that Haiti’s recovery will take
years,” said Yoo Chong-ha, head of
the KNRC. “We have tried to benefit
from even the smallest interest the
bank could give us to last over the
long term,” he added.
“The money has been spent on
delivering blood and other medical
supplies. We have also supported
rebuilding housings through the
international Red Cross. We will make
the most use of the fund,” the
organization later stated.