Sunday, July 22, 2012

Boken Promises

When a deadly earthquake that leveled Haiti’s capital more than two years ago it brought a thread of hope: a promise of renewal. With the United States taking the lead, international donors pledged billions of dollars to help the country “build back better.” Meanwhile, 390,000 people are still homeless.

But after the rubble was cleared and the dead buried the fruits of an ambitious, $1.8 billion U.S. reconstruction promise are hard to find. Projects fundamental to Haiti’s transformation out of poverty, such as permanent housing and electric plants in the heavily hit capital of Port-au-Prince have not taken off. The U.S. promised to rebuild or replace thousands of destroyed homes, but so far has not built even one new permanent house. And so far, the U.S. has no public plans to build a clean water or sewer system in Port-au-Prince, even as the country grapples with the world’s biggest cholera outbreak that medical researchers say was likely introduced by a U.N. peacekeeping unit after the earthquake.  $137 million effort toward supplying reliable electricity in Haiti, including blackout-prone Port-au-Prince, stalled after a contract dispute led to a stop-work order - leaving the capital with electricity only about 10 hours a day. Those who can afford it use private generators and those without use lanterns or candles.

From here

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