“Nothing has changed in six months. There are still no jobs and no solid shelter,” says Gilbert Gregory, a father of three who was sitting under a white plastic tarp in Champs de Mars. “By now people are used to living in the camps but it’s because they have no choice, not because it’s a good situation. The government didn’t take any responsibility, all this aid came in, but nothing happened with it. It’s difficult to swallow.”
The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs released a report to mark six months of relief efforts, including a humanitarian response that provided emergency shelter for 1.5 million survivors.
To date, the UN notes, some 4.3 million people have received food and 1.1 million have received a daily supply of safe drinking water. (According to Oxfam water and sanitation experts, metropolitan Port-au-Prince today has more drinking water and toilets than before the earthquake.) Thousands have also received medical assistance, including 4,000 victims who needed amputations.
These are big feats considering that the government, already weak before January 12, was as devastated by the earthquake as the country it leads.
Seventeen percent of the Haitian government workforce was killed, while all ministry buildings were destroyed except for one, write Prime Minister Jean-Max Bellerive and Mr. Clinton, co-chairs of the Interim Haiti Reconstruction Commission, in a New York Times op-ed. The crumbled National Palace has long been a symbol of the hard road ahead for Haiti.