Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Haiti one year on

It’s a year since the disastrous Haiti earthquake killed a quarter of a million people, and twelve months on, the pace of reconstruction has been disappointing, with at least 800,000 people still living in temporary shelters. This is a particular nightmare for the women and girls who live in the camps, as rape and sexual assault are daily occurrences.

With so many people finding it hard to get access to clean water, 3,500 have died of cholera over recent months, and political deadlock has made the situation worse. There were complaints of fraud and intimidation in November’s indecisive elections, and the second round has still not been held.

Last March, international donors promised more than £1.25 billion, but by the end of last month, nearly 40 per cent of that had still not been spent. Former US President, Bill Clinton, now a UN envoy to the country, admitted his frustration, but said he hoped the pace would now pick up.

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