GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) - The Haiti Foundation Against Poverty has 20,000 pounds ofsupplies to send to Haiti, but the nonprofit organization cannotship the items.
The group has food, water and even tents sitting inside itswarehouse, waiting to be sent. But those supplies will remain therebecause the Haitian government has imposed sanctions on itemscoming in to the country.
Shipments like this one will have to be signed over to theHaitian government before they are distributed, because businessesin Haiti were importing goods, posing as relief shipments -- whicharen't taxed.
This new policy means the Haiti Foundation Against Poverty can'tdo much.
"We are hoping and praying that this is just temporarysuspension and hold," said Kim Chapin, of the foundation. "We'renot turning away donations. We're just hoping and praying that thegovernment will relent and that somehow, by getting the news outthere, that this will put pressure on the Haitian government andlet us bypass this."
If charitable organizations don't want to turn their goods overto the Haitian government for fear they won't get to those in need,they must pay the tariffs attached to imports.
An organization such as this Grand Rapids foundation would haveto pay up to $40,000 in tariffs to get their supplies to theneedy.
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