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Haiti - Humanitarian : Sean Penn is very critical
16/02/2011 12:25:56

Haiti - Humanitarian : Sean Penn is very critical
The reconstruction aid to Haiti following the earthquake of January 2010 was hampered by a lack of cooperation and communication among international organizations, argued Tuesday the American actor Sean Penn [co-founder of the NGO JP/HRO] during a charity dinner in Vienna where he had to raise funds to finance the activities of his organization.

"This is not a celebrity issue, it's about getting Haiti back in the media and also using Sean Penn's popularity to do so," explained Karl Pumper, the organizer of the event.

Asked about the situation in Haiti by reporters Sean Penn has lamented that there was too much work done in duplicate and a serious lack of communication between organizations. He also denounced the obstacles encountered by the NGOs in their work, although every organization seems to have people "extremely dedicated [...] There are competing cultures in the international relief world: one is the culture of emergency relief and the other one is the culture of sustainable development and these have to work with each other against the problem of poverty and against each other in competition for donors"

The actor also slammed false wisdom instead of action on the ground "The idea is to... support them, and not to rely on cliches like the one that always drives me crazy: 'don't give them fish, teach them to fish'. If there's no fish in the f...(expletive) pond, you can teach them all you want".

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The actor, very appreciated by the Haitian, has co-founded the Jenkins-Penn Haiti Relief Organization (J/P HRO) after the earthquake of January 12, 2010 that destroyed a major part of the capital Port-au-Prince. Very personally involved on the ground with, his NGOs has supported since the earthquake, the camp at Petionville Golf Club where live more than 50,000 victims. Note that this camp is considered a "business model" in Haïti.

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