Haitian president bemoans lack of coordination in aid relief

2010-01-30 11:14

HAITIAN president Rene Preval on Friday criticized a lack of coordination among

countries bringing aid to the Caribbean nation in the wake of the January 12

earthquake.

Many donor nations were helping with “all good intentions” but

“without coordination,” Preval said after a meeting in Port-au-Prince with

Ecuadoran president Rafael Correa.

He said countries such as Germany, the United States and France

were channeling their assistance through their own institutions and bypassing

the Haitian government, which is seeking to coordinate the efforts.

Preval noted that Haiti was hit by the devastating earthquake when

it still had not recovered from four destructive cyclones, and said now was the

time to decentralise the country’s development with regional

infrastructure.

Preval rejected the “logic of the republic of Port-au-Prince,” and

called for roads, ports, airports and jobs in the provinces to slow the rate of

internal migration to the capital, which had swelled to 3 million inhabitants

when the quake hit.

“We’re not talking about reconstruction, but about construction,”

he said.

“Decentralisation means to reinforce local authorities, transfer

administrative activities,” Preval said, but noted that Haiti’s constitution

mandates that Port-au-Prince remains the capital.

The death toll from the quake is still be counted. Preval mentioned

170,000 dead, but other government sources said the toll was more than 180,000

and could still increase.


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