Wednesday, October 27, 2010

As expected, little progress in Haiti

A top U.N. expert says Haiti remains in a "profound humanitarian crisis" and that reconstruction must begin urgently.

The statement issued Tuesday by Walter Kaelin cites "no substantial progress toward durable solutions."

Kaelin is the world body's top representative on the rights of people displaced within countries. He issued the statement from Geneva about a month after visiting the quake-ravaged nation.

He urges international donors to provide flexible, targeted funding and says Haiti's government should endorse a plan for an estimated 1.3 million people still living in temporary camps.

Kaelin also denounces forced evictions of squatters and condemns high levels of violence against women and children.

Haiti is the perfect storm of corruption, environmental degradation, moral degeneracy and political instability. Additionally, it sits in a hurricane path on a zone of seismic activity. Billions of dollars in aid can be thrown at Haiti without solving its problems. The best we can do for the Haitian population is resettlement elsewhere.

The international community should consider turning that uninhabitable and despoiled half island into a nature preserve until it heals itself.

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