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HAITI
Slow recovery two years later
1/20/2012
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Reconstruction funds running dry as health risks persist.

Two years after the massive earthquake on Jan. 12, 2010 earthquake that struck Haiti, killing more than 300,000 people and leaving 1.5 million homeless, many victims still have no place to go.

Even though around 1 million people have left temporary shelter camps, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, or OCHA, said that many victims left the camps because of crime and health risks. The camps’ conditions sparked an outbreak of cholera that killed close to 7,000 people last year.

Additionally, less than half the international aid of US$4.6 billion pledged for reconstruction between 2010 and 2011 has come through.

The Jesuit Service for Refugees in Latin America and the Caribbean said that the situation hasn’t changed much for the victims. International organizations like Intermon Oxfam have said the country needs a separate government body to help the country rebuild, since the Interim Haiti Recovery Commission, an initiative of William J. Clinton Foundation, of former US President Bill Clinton, ended its mandate in the country last October.

Even though 10 million square meters of rubble has been disposed, half that amount remains to be picked up. The OCHA says at least $230 million more is needed for health care, water and sewer systems and housing construction.

The reconstruction efforts are weighing on the already impoverished country. President Michel Martelly, who took office in May, said that 80 percent of the 10.5 million Haitians live on less than $2 per day and only 5 percent of 4.2 million working-age Haitians have a stable job.
—Latinamerica Press.


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