Thursday, January 06, 2011

One year later, only 5 percent of Haiti's rubble has been cleared

OFXAM has issued a new report showing the state of Haiti one year after the earthquake, and the report's results are not pretty.

OFXAM says the country is still in ruins one year after the quake. The report puts the blame on the country's government and also on aid agencies that are not making rubble clearing a priority.

From the Guardian, writer Rory Carroll details the report's dismal results.

The report, published a week before the anniversary of the earthquake, follows an announcement that political wrangling has delayed the second round of the disputed presidential election until February, leaving Haiti's leadership also in limbo.

The anniversary will fuel recriminations about why a wave of global sympathy and funding pledges appears to have dissolved into lost opportunities and continued suffering.

The destruction of the capital and death of an estimated 230,000 people, including civil servants and technicians crushed in collapsed ministries, prompted a huge international relief effort, with $2.1bn (£1.4bn) pledged. Thousands of aid agencies and missionary groups poured into the Caribbean nation. According to the UN's special envoy for Haiti, only 42% of that was spent.

Roland van Hauwermeiren, the country's Oxfam's director, said near paralysis in Haiti's government had been compounded by mistakes in the international response. "Too many donors from rich countries have pursued their own aid priorities and have not effectively coordinated amongst themselves or worked with the Haitian government," he said.

The agency accused the interim Haiti recovery commission, led by the former US president Bill Clinton and Haiti's prime minister, Jean-Max Bellerive, of being "lacklustre" in managing funds and improving Haiti's technical capacity to spend them.
An emblematic failure is the fact that only 5% of rubble has been cleared. Privately, aid agencies have said it is easier to raise funds for shelters and medical treatment than to clear debris which, one said, is "less emotional, less sexy"
To a litany of woes – unemployment, cholera, extreme poverty – an Amnesty International report today adds sexual violence. Armed men prey with impunity on girls and women in displacement camps, worsening the trauma of having lost homes, livelihoods and loved ones, says the report.

No comments: