One of the sad truths about trying to help folks in far, distant lands, is that so much of the aid gets soaked up in overhead.
But if you think it’s bad with charities, prepare to wince at the United Nation’s Haitian peacekeeping efforts. It turns out that only 4.6 percent of the $495.8 million the UN spends on salaries, hazard pay, and the like goes to “national staff” on the ground in Haiti. The rest goes to support staff at some remove from the island nation’s devastation.
So does $461.9 million out of $495.8 million seem like a good cut for overhead?
Seems steep to me.
The entire budget is well over $700 million. Nearly $200 million of that comes from U.S. taxpayers.
The Fox News story from which I harvested these figures goes on to discuss the boats used to house some personnel. $112,500 per day. One of the boats is nicknamed “The Love Boat.” I don’t think I want to know more.
This should be a big story, except that, in context of today’s typical government operations, it’s not out of the ordinary. These days, operations often get judged not by the good done but by the number of people and dollars associated with it.
People in Haiti suffer. So we naturally don’t want to complain about money spent helping them. But, like so much else in government, efficiency is out of the question.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.