Monday, July 12, 2010

Haiti six months later, a round-up

Six months have passed since the Haitian earthquake. This may be a good thing for the people of Haiti who are still sleeping in tents. This occasion will force the western media to turn their attention back to the impoverished country. At least three items have caught our eyes this afternoon.

First in our round-up, a video from ABC News. Reporter David Muir talks to Hans van Dillen of Medecins Sans Frontieres on the progress in Haiti.

Next from FRI, writer Amanda Morrow takes a look at some of the promised, but as of yet undelivered Haitian aid.

Six months after an earthquake killed 250,000 people in Haiti, an estimated 1.5 million people remain homeless, the government faces criticism for not doing enough and much promised foreign aid has not been delivered.

Local people complain that they have seen little progress since the 12 January quake levelled 60 per cent of buildings in the capital, Port-au-Prince. Earlier this year there were angry protests.

Thousands of families throughout the country live in plastic tents under sweltering temperatures, and are at risk of crime, exploitation and abuse.

International aid donors have been criticised for not following through on pledges, with a US Senate report last month finding that of the 5.3 billion dollars (4.2 billion euros) promised, only two per cent has been received.

The UN World Food Program (WFP) says that its emergency operation has a shortfall of more than $200 million (160 million euros).

Finally the blog at the ONE Organization updates Haiti's debt situation. Writer Brie O'keefe details all of the debt cancellations since the earthquake, and tells us who else should get with the program.

That leaves Haiti’s only outstanding debts at the moment being held by Taiwan and the IMF. Taiwan is difficult as many of these debts are held by commercial creditors who are unwilling to forgive them. The IMF, however, is currently working on a process to cancel Haiti’s remaining debts, though this hasn’t happened as yet.

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