Haitian Earthquake Relief Aid Used to Build Luxury Hotel

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The International Finance Corporation (IFC), whose purpose is “to create opportunity for people to escape poverty and improve their lives… and deliver essential services to the poor and the vulnerable,” spent a whopping $7.5 million on the Oasis Complex in Haiti. This massive 128-room luxury hotel, just outside of quake-ravaged Port-au-Prince, also features five restaurants, a shopping center, and “bank services.” An additional $2 million in funding for this project came from the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund, which folded a year and a half after making this investment, citing that the organization “served as a bridge from post-disaster relief to longer-term reconstruction.”

The Nation’s Amy Wilentz contends that many of Haiti’s extravagant new hotels, like the Oasis, are actually decoys for intricate “money-laundering operations for drug traffickers,” while these funds could have been used to create sustainable, modest housing for the almost 400,000 Haitians who remain homeless three years after the earthquake.


Amy Wilentz,  “Letter from Haiti: Life in the Ruins,” The Nation, January 9, 2013. http://www.thenation.com/article/172101/letter-haiti-life-ruins

Supporting Links:

World Bank Group, “IFC’s Vision, Values, & Purpose,” International Finance Corporation. Last modified 2013. http://www1.ifc.org/wps/wcm/connect/CORP_EXT_Content/IFC_External_Corporate_Site/About+IFC/Vision/

World Bank Group, “Oasis Complex,” International Finance Corporation. Last modified 2013. http://www.ifc.org/ifcext/spiwebsite1.nsf/ProjectDisplay/SPI_DP29726

Occidental Hotels & Resorts, “Royal Oasis by Occidental,” Occidental Hotels & Resorts. Last modified 2013. http://en.occidentalhotels.com/hotels/royaloasis.asp

Clinton Bush Haiti Fund, “Oasis,” Clinton Bush Haiti Fund. Accessed March 21, 2013. http://www.clintonbushhaitifund.org/programs/entry/oasis/

Clinton Bush Haiti Fund, “About the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund,” Clinton Bush Haiti Fund. http://www.clintonbushhaitifund.org/pages/about/


Student Researcher: Kathrine Brownell (SUNY Buffalo State)

Faculty Evaluator: Dr. Michael I. Niman (SUNY Buffalo State)