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Haiti earthquake diary: Factories are 'in limbo'

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Wednesday, Jan. 27

With each passing day, the anxiety for more aid – or at least access to it – increases.

A warehouse in the industrial park has been storing supplies that came across the border of the Dominican Republic. As trucks load up the supplies to be delivered to organized distribution points around the city, Haitians trying to find work storm the gates and try to pocket whatever they can.

The Haitian police are able to back them off, but do nothing to appease the anger of the crowd. They’re hungry, poor, and looking for work.

There used to be over 14,000 people employed in this industrial park; a business plan was in place to increase that amount to 25,000 by the end of this year and 50,000 by the end of 2011. Now it’s anyone’s guess.

George Sassine, President of the Haitian Association of Industrialists, cannot open his factory for at least another month because of the structural damage. He used to have thousands of employees, but was forced to close in 2006. He opened back up in November of last year with 160 employees and was on track to employ 900 this year.

“In limbo,” Georges says about his business.


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