In the wake of recent flooding in Louisiana, the Red Cross has come under fire for its handling of the disaster. They came under fire for tossing out donated food and clothes from its shelters.
Now it appears those were just the tip of the iceberg and it resulted in many flood victims going hungry and without medical treatment.
From The Times-Picayune:
In the wake of the historic flooding in Baton Rouge this summer, locals blamed the Red Cross charity for a variety of shortcomings, from refusing food and donations to lacking appropriate medical staff. A new report by the nonprofit news site ProPublica builds on those claims, citing “widespread mismanagement and understaffing at Red Cross shelters” in the city.
ProPublica obtained hundreds of government documents and emails through a public records request. The documents suggest that mismanagement caused evacuees to go hungry, thirsty and without medical aid, the site reported.
The head of one local nonprofit wrote that people at one shelter had “no food or water for 24 hours over the weekend,” adding that a woman “gave birth with no medical assistance.”
”They failed for 12 days,” wrote James Gilmore, who handles children’s issues for the Edwards administration, in an email about the Red Cross’ response to the floods. He listed several shortfalls: “Food. Donations management. Under staffed.”
The Red Cross struggled to figure out how to get formula that had been donated and was being stored at a nearby facility to the Baton Rouge River Center, the state’s largest temporary shelter for flood victims, according to another email from the governor’s staff.
The Red Cross’s disaster relief was itself a disaster. Even to the point where a woman had to give birth without a doctor or other medical assistance. People used to die in childbirth because of things like this.
Local volunteers and churches were able to perform better because they cut through the red tape. The Red Cross is simply too bureaucratic and too lethargic to be effective.