Four Years After Devastating Earthquake, Corruption Derails Haiti's Recovery

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Posted Jan. 15, 2014

Interview with Kim Ives, co-founder and an editor at Haiti Liberte’ newspaper, conducted by Scott Harris

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Four years ago on Jan. 12, 2010, a massive 7.0 magnitude earthquake struck Haiti’s capital Port au Prince and the surrounding area, killing an estimated 200,000 to 300,000 people. Hundreds of thousands more were injured and with large swaths of the capital completely destroyed, about 1.5 million Haitians were made homeless.

Now after hundreds of millions of dollars were donated by the international community to the earthquake relief effort, more than 150,000 Haitians remain homeless, with many living in makeshift tent and plywood shacks with no running water, sanitation or electricity. Efforts to resettle these disaster refugees, scattered in 271 tent camps, has been hampered by the lack of funds. Haitian President Michel Martelly, who took office under the cloud of a disputed election in May 2011, says that part of the problem with his government’s lagging reconstruction effort can be traced to promised international aid to Haiti that was never delivered.

But a growing protest movement across Haiti has been fueled in recent months by charges that Martelly’s government has engaged in blatant corruption, funneling millions of dollars in aid funds to the president’s family members and party loyalists. Senator Moïse Jean-Charles of the Lavalas Family Party, has emerged as the new leader of a grassroots movement demanding the resignation of Martelly while also challenging the accommodationist wing of his own party. Between The Lines’ Scott Harris spoke with journalist Kim Ives, co-founder and an editor at the international weekly newspaper Haiti Liberté, who examines the problem-plagued recovery effort and current political unrest in Haiti four years after the earthquake.

Find links to Ives’ articles and additional analysis on the situation in Haiti by visiting haiti-liberte.com/.

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