It took a 60 second earthquake to devastate the island nation of Haiti. Five years later the nation is still struggling to rebuild and return normalcy to the Haitian people.
On Tuesday, the Miami Herlad’s Caribbean Correspondent, Jaquline Charles joined Roland Martin on “NewsOne Now” via Skype to discuss current conditions in Haiti, the status of the rebuilding process and explain how the $12.48 billion in aid promised after the earthquake has been utilized.
Charles explained the rebuilding process has been slow. The quake left more that 300,000 dead, 300,000 injured and more than 1.5 million homeless.
When you come to Port Au Prince “the first thing you will notice is rubble,” said Charles. “There was enough rubble to fill five New Orleans Super Domes.”
The tents and tin shacks that covered every public park are also gone according to Charles. The people who lost their homes are now living in the “largest post-quake ghetto, which is on the outskirts of Port Au Prince.”
One US Aid official was quoted as saying the post-quake ghetto will become the second largest city in Haiti.
Charles went on to discuss the billions of dollars that were promised to Haiti and where the funds were allocated to help the struggling nation rebuild after the devastating 7.0 earthquake.
“Billions were promised for Haiti and Haiti itself has not received those funds.” Charles added, according to new analysis conducted by the United Nations $12.48 billion dollars was pledged to Haiti.
“That money went to private charities, to non profit organizations we call NGOs. The government itself did not get any money and so the government has had to rely on its own measly finances and a credit program from Venezuela in order to do the construction projects they would like to do.”
Charles said, “Eighty percent of the money has been obligated or it has been spent.” There was a considerable amount of money used for humanitarian aide in the days just after the quake. “That money went to keep people alive.”
The rest of the 80% that was supposed to “build back better, to decongest the streets of the Haitian capitol, to put up houses, to create jobs, has been spent, but have you seen the results of that,” Charles said.
Listen to Martin, Jaquline Charles and the “NewsOne Now panel discuss the current conditions in Haiti and what is being done to rebuild the nation that was devastated by a 7.0 earthquake five years ago in the audio clip below.
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