US Senate Report Highlights Slow Progress of Haiti’s Reconstruction

    Lack of leadership and poor coordination of donors is stalling progress in rebuilding Haiti from the shambles left by the massive earthquake that hit the country Jan. 12, a report from the U.S. Senate stated.

    The eight-page report seen by The Associated Press paints a picture of Haiti five months after the earthquake. It was written by the staff of U.S. Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) based on interviews of U.S., United Nations and Haitian officials who have visited the Caribbean country.

    The report is intended to give the U.S. Congress an overview of the current situation in Haiti as it mulls the authorization of USD2 billion worth of assistance for the country’s reconstruction, AP notes.

    The picture the report paints is rather grim, with millions of displaced people still crowding in informal camps and debris of collapsed buildings still dominating the scene.

    “While many immediate humanitarian relief priorities appear to have been met, there are troubling signs that the recovery and longer term rebuilding activities are flagging,” the report said.

    The report also expressed concern that progress will still be slow even once the funds pledged during the March donor conference in New York are committed and allocated.

    It noted that while the Interim Haiti Reconstruction Panel in charge of managing the funds is the “best near-term prospect for driving rebuilding,” it also “has the potential to dramatically slow things down through cumbersome bureaucratic obstacles at a time when Haiti cannot afford delay.”

    The reconstruction panel, which is led by former U.S. President Bill Clinton and Haitian Prime Minister Jean-Max Bellerive, met for its first official meeting on June 17. Clinton and Bellerive announced the first three spending projects approved by the panel during the meeting, which was held in Port-au-Prince.

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      Ivy Mungcal

      As former senior staff writer, Ivy Mungcal contributed to several Devex publications. Her focus is on breaking news, and in particular on global aid reform and trends in the United States, Europe, the Caribbean, and the Americas. Before joining Devex in 2009, Ivy produced specialized content for U.S. and U.K.-based business websites.