Typhoon Haiyan Relief Fund: where did the money go? - Macleans.ca

Typhoon Haiyan Relief Fund: where did the money go?

DFATD won’t say which charities got the cash, or how much

Aaron Favila/AP

Aaron Favila/AP

Shortly after Typhoon Haiyan hit the Philippines, Canada established a matching fund program through which the government matched donations made privately by Canadians to approved charities.

(Money provided by the government did not go to the same charities to which the original donations were given, but instead to a separate, government-administered “Typhoon Haiyan Relief Fund.”)

The donation window closed on December 23 and charities had until January 10 to report what they had received.

On a web page last updated December 5, DFATD said $35 million had been donated to registered charities. DFATD described this to Maclean’s as an “interim tally.” It would not provide the final amount.

It seems odd that the government is unable or unwilling to provide this information now. If an interim tally could be made available as donations were coming in, it is reasonable to expect that a final tally could be calculated five weeks after the deadline charities had to report typhoon-related donations has passed.

Putting that aside, we know that at least $35 million was donated to registered charities, and that the same amount should therefore have been provided by the government to the relief fund.

Of that $35 million-plus supposedly in the relief fund, however, the government has explained how only $15 million was spent. DFATD outlines the details for that $15 million, (plus another $5 million that was announced earlier and was not part of the matching fund program) here.

This leaves at least $20 million that the government pledged to provide for Typhoon Haiyan relief but has not yet accounted for. It has promised details “in the near future.” I will update readers when these details are provided.

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