Devastated Haiti still waiting for aid

Promised aid has not been delivered, Haitian government tells Economic and Social Council at UN meeting.

Less than two per cent of promised reconstruction aid for quake-devastated Haiti has been delivered, claimed the Haitian government during a recent UN meeting.

Six months after the 7.0 earthquake struck the country and devastated two million lives, Haiti is still awaiting promised aid.

Oxfam has revealed to Marie Claire that only a fragment of the relief effort has been realised. Rubble still clogs the streets, ‘only two per cent of needs in reconstruction have been met’, and available sanitation remains low, making the risk of an outbreak of water borne diseases high.

Such is the trauma that still envelops the land that the place looks ‘like the earthquake struck yesterday,’ said the Mayor of Leogane.

While the country has received a considerable amount of aid in the last six months, most noticeably from Medecins Sans Frontieres, still only a fraction of the recovery process have been completed.

The natural elements are certainly hampering relief efforts. Today, hurricane winds and heavy rains hit the UN camp Croix-des-Bouqets, causing widespread damage and destruction to the temporary accommodation erected.

But lack of monetary aid is the biggest cause of delays in reconstruction. The government says the international donors have simply not come up with money they had earlier promised.

Oxfam has disclosed to Marie Claire that Spain are the worst offenders with $13,275,613 in uncommitted pledges, while the United States still have $3.3 million to donate. It must be understood that without finance the regeneration of Haiti simply cannot progress.

Money is needed not only for schools, reinforcing road networks and further basic needs, but it is also needed to provide psychological first aid.

It is believed that as many as two million children were orphaned by the earthquake, with some found sleeping next to their parents’ dead bodies in the immediate aftermath.

‘Six months on their fractures and wounds may have healed but the psychological scars are still clearly fresh,’ said Metro journalist Lisa Scott in today’s report ‘Haiti’s lost childhoods.’

Haiti needs the promised funding, and they need it urgently. Without it plans for reconstruction and redevelopment are futile.

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