CaribWorldNews, WASHINGTON, D.C., Tues. Jan. 11, 2011: Despite millions in aid and pledges of more to come, life remains very grim for many Haitians, a U.S. official admitted Monday.
Speaking just two days before the official one year anniversary of the devastating Haiti quake of January 12, 2010, Thomas C. Adams, the U.S.` Special Coordinator for Haiti, admitted that your average Haitian is probably understandably concerned that with all this money that`s been pledged, all the NGOs working there, why hasn`t my life gotten better quicker.
His comments come as over one million people continued to live in tent cities or on the streets, one year after the quake, and rape of women in the tents has left many in fear for their lives and those of their daughters.
But Adams said the reality is that while the country has been stabilized after the earthquake, trying to develop Haiti to turn around its economic problems is going to take a decade or more.
He said the challenge of temporary shelters is trying to crank them out quicker even as a long-term housing plan could take years to put in place.
Adams added that 15 percent of the government workforce was killed in the earthquake while as much as 40 percent of the government workforce left, creating a big hole. In addition, almost all the government buildings were destroyed.
`I think 28 out of 29 ministries were – buildings were destroyed,` he said. `We have helped somewhat by turning over the old U.S. Embassy and the old USAID mission as government offices. We are currently building a temporary parliament building, and we`ve done a number of other – taken a number of other steps to help strengthen the government. But this will be a process. It takes time, as almost everything in Haiti will. There are big challenges building a new government, fixing the educational system, fixing the health system.`