MTV's [article id="1630013"]"Hope for Haiti Now: A Global Benefit for Earthquake Relief"[/article] telethon has already broken fundraising records by gathering more than $66 million in public donations to aid the people of the devastated Caribbean nation, and the the accompanying soundtrack, [article id="1630568"]Hope for Haiti Now,[/article] became the first-ever all-digital album in the 54-year history of the Billboard 200 to debut at #1 on the albums chart. And now, the money raised by the event is on its way to Haiti.
The first $35 million in funds raised at the telethon has been distributed to the beneficiaries of the all-star event. The six groups — Oxfam America, Partners in Health, the American Red Cross, UNICEF, United Nations World Food Programme and Yele Haiti Foundation, submitted proposals for what they intend to do with the funds last week.
The first installment was just over half of the [article id="1630365"]$66 million that has been pledged so far[/article] in the effort to raise money following the January 12 earthquake in Haiti that leveled much of the Caribbean island nation's capital of Port-au-Prince.
According to an announcement of the $35 million in funding, the money was released following an intensive review process and guidance from the Hope for Haiti Now Advisory Committee and Bridgespan, a management consulting group that advises nonprofits. The funds are earmarked for immediate disaster relief and reconstruction and recovery efforts in Haiti. The next allocation of funds is planned for May after all donations have been received.
Funds will still be collected for the next 60-90 days, so if you haven't made a donation yet or would like to, please go to the Hope for Haiti Now Web site.
"In less than two weeks since the telethon, the first $35 million raised is en route to address dire needs in Haiti — to provide food, water, shelter, medical care and other vital resources. The counsel of our advisory committee members was critical in rapidly getting us to this point. We are extremely grateful to them for their time and expert guidance, and to everyone who donated so generously," said George Clooney, who was one of the event's leaders.
Among the allocations:
Oxfam America: $8 million to build systems for clean water and safe sanitation, deliver shelter and relief supplies and work on lasting solutions for food security, housing and land issues.
Partners in Health: $8 million to provide emergency medical assistance and supplies, strengthen the public health system, and provide rehabilitation, social support and economic assistance to survivors.
American Red Cross: $6 million to supply emergency shelter and non-food relief items to vulnerable families, specifically targeting female-headed households, the disabled, elderly and the disadvantaged.
UNICEF: $6 million to coordinate the immediate protection of children; prevent and respond to family separations; support the psycho-social needs of families and children; and prevent child exploitation for trafficking.
United Nations World Food Programme: $6 million to ensure the distribution of meals and other life-saving food assistance to the most vulnerable earthquake victims in urban and rural areas over the next six months.
Yele Haiti Foundation: $1 million to promote community mobilization in major underserved neighborhoods to coordinate aid delivery and support recovery efforts.
"There is still a massive and urgent need for food, water and other vital resources to reach the countless people suffering on the ground in Haiti — children, families ... millions who are displaced and homeless. These funds will help to save lives now as Haiti begins to rebuild for the long-term," said Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti Director Brian Concannon, one of the advisory committee members with Haitian relief-work expertise.