Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Harsh words from US on Haiti rebuilding

The US Senate Foreign Relations Committee has issued a new report that contains harsh critiques of the Haitian government rebuilding efforts after the January earthquake. The committee led by Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass; says that the rebuilding efforts have stalled and asks from more international pressure on Haiti.

From their outstanding Miami Herald coverage of Haiti, writer Jacqeline Charles received an advance copy of the report to be released on Tuesday.

``Key decisions remain in flux and critical humanitarian issues related to shelter and resettlement are not resolved,'' the report said.

The report, to be released Tuesday, also notes that fragmentation and lack of coordination among donors ``are undercutting recovery and rebuilding.''

Haitian Prime Minister Jean-Max Bellerive, who co-chairs the Interim Haiti Reconstruction Commission, defended the government's handling of the crisis, saying that Préval's leadership has allowed for Haitians to remain united despite the challenges.

Foreign Affairs Committee staffers compiled the report after site visits and extensive interviews with those involved in Haiti's recovery.

It cites the lack of scaffolding on a crumbled presidential palace as emblematic that the rebuilding has stalled.

While the rebuilding must be Haitian-government led, the United States has to take an active role in the process, Kerry wrote.

The report cites 10 critical issues for Haiti's rebuilding that require urgent attention by the Haitian government and Obama administration. They include conflicting messages from donors to Préval, setting an election schedule and the lack of government guidance about its plans.

``The government has not done an effective job of communicating to Haitians that it is in charge and ready to lead the rebuilding effort,'' the report said. ``President Préval should take a more visible and active role, despite the difficulties confronting his government.''

Read more: http://www.miamiherald.com/2010/06/21/v-fullstory/1693152/worry-harsh-words-on-haiti-recovery.html#ixzz0raYXqRct

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