Wyclef Jean defends his Haiti charity's spending

11/28/2011 6:47 AM

11/28/2011 8:10 AM

Haiti-born hip hop star Wyclef Jean says an article in the New York Post questioning how his charity, Yele Haiti, spent millions of dollars in aid for victims of the January 2010 Haiti earthquake is “misleading, deceptive and incomplete.”

“The Post conveniently fails to acknowledge that the decisions that Yele made were a response to one of the world’s most catastrophic natural disasters in modern history and required an immediate humanitarian response,” Jean said in a written statement. “We made decisions that enabled us to provide emergency assistance in the midst of chaos and we stand by those decisions.”

Wyclef arrived in Haiti with his wife and cousin Jerry Duplessis on Jan. 13, 2010, less than 24 hours after the earthquake hit Haiti. His charity, Yele, almost immediately began raising money. But according to The Post, which published the article on Sunday, the charity “spent a pittance of the” $16 million it collected in 2010. Less than a third went to emergency efforts and $1 million went to Amisphere Farm Labor Inc., which failed to complete the necessary paperwork to be incorporated in Florida.

The Post article says that the farm’s owner, Amsterly Pierre, bought three properties in Florida last year, including a waterfront condo.

“The Post never highlights that Amisphere Farm Labor was responsible for preparing and delivering close to 100,000 meals,’’ Jean says.

This is not the first time Jean’s charity has been scrutinized for its finances, or spending. Immediately after the quake, the charity faced a whirlwind of controversy.

On Sunday, Jean defended the charity saying that Yele “used construction funds to rebuild an orphanage; build a temporary assistance facility, and construct a system of outdoor toilet and shower facilities in Cite Soleil.”

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