A poor neighbourhood shows the damage after an earthquake measuring 7 plus on the Richter scale rocked Port au Prince Haiti just before 5 pm yesterday, January 12, 2009.

What Happened To Haiti Earthquake Reconstruction?

On January 12 2010, a 7.0 magnitude earthquake struck Haiti.  Hundreds of thousands of people lost their lives. Millions more were made homeless. Around the world, there was a huge outpouring of support and solidarity for the people of Haiti. This included billions of dollars pledged for Haiti relief and reconstruction.

Ten years later, much of the rubble is gone. But the massive reconstruction plans have  materialized to a degree commensurate with the promises that were made at time.

So what happened to the billions of dollars pledged and to the grand promises to “build back better?” in Haiti?

On the line with me to discuss what happened with Haiti earthquake reconstruction is Jacqueline Charles. She is a veteran reporter with the Miami Herald who has reported this story for many years. I caught up with her from Port Au Prince where she was covering events around the 10th anniversary of the earthquake. Her series in the Miami Herald, called “Haiti Earthquake: A Decade of Aftershocks” is an absolute must-read.

The series includes an interview with Bill Clinton, who was the major international figure raising money for Haiti reconstruction and helping to coordinate the international response. He served, for a time as the co-chair of a commission directing international relief efforts and Jaqueline Charles and I discuss the legacy of Bill Clinton’s efforts to that end.

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