There was a tremendous outpouring of goodwill and money for Haiti after the quake, which prevented a further humanitarian catastrophe. But so far, nine months after the capital was devastated, progress in “building back better” seems painfully slow. Rubble still chokes the narrow streets of Port-au-Prince, and 1.3 million people occupy every available scrap of land in tents awaiting resettlement, or even just a government plan on what to do with them.
Given the mind-boggling scale of the disaster, the weakness of the government and economy even before the earthquake, the lack of land as well as clearly defined land ownership records, it is unfair to expect too much.
But today everyone seems to be asking: What has all this goodwill achieved in terms of lasting benefits to Haiti? One thing that is clear from our interviews this week is the government, local elites and the international community seem to be playing something of a blame game.
Last week six people in the camps died when a freak storm struck Port-au-Prince, and today more bad weather could be on its way. There has been a spike in births in the camps as the first “earthquake babies” arrive, but the future they face looks as uncertain as ever.
Here are our top stories from today…
Obama aide Emanuel to run for Chicago mayor
White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel, one of President Barack Obama’s most powerful aides, plans to step down on Friday to pursue a run for Chicago mayor, sources familiar with the matter said. Obama was to make an announcement at a White House East Room event on Friday. White House spokesman Robert Gibbs would not confirm Emanuel is the subject of the announcement but the sources said Emanuel’s announcement would come on Friday.