News

US-Haiti Envoy Urges Patience on Recovery

U.S. Ambassador to Haiti Kenneth Merten (2010 file photo)
U.S. Ambassador to Haiti Kenneth Merten (2010 file photo)

The U.S. ambassador to Haiti Kenneth Merten says it will take years to complete reconstruction efforts from the devastating 2010 earthquake.

Mertin  compared the pace of reconstruction efforts in Port-au-Prince to that of New York City's World Trade Center, which was destroyed in the 2001 terrorist attack and the area is still being rebuilt.

"There are a lot of actors on the ground in Haiti coordinating everybody's work," he said. "It's not an easy task, but reconstruction is happening and I think we have to keep pushing and make sure it happens as fast as possible."

Haiti's January 2010 earthquake killed more than 200,000 people and left millions homeless. A cholera epidemic following the quake claimed several thousand more lives.

The ambassador says the reconstruction has been complicated by problems with Haiti's infrastructure, which was in poor condition before the disaster, and a "limited capacity of government," as many officials were killed in the earthquake. He also noted the surprise resignation last month of Prime Minister Garry Conille after just four months in his post.

"As partners of Haiti we hope they work that out as quickly as possible because there are certain things that cannot happen without a government in place," Merten said. "We are eager and anxious to continue our work, [and] I would encourage all actors to put a government back into place as soon as possible."

Merten said he is proud the United States had a "very big, positive impact" in the immediate aftermath of the disaster, and he also credited the many actors on the ground who helped deliver food, water and shelter to the victims.

The ambassador said there was no concern about two former Haitian leaders, Jean-Bertrand Aristide and former dictator Jean-Claude Duvalier, living in their native land years after they were each forced into exile, describing the fact that both men are apparently staying out of politics as a sign that Haiti is a "mature, or maturing democracy."

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Henri Borno
March 19, 2012 8:38 PM
Looks like The Ambassador put His World Union on. Not bad. I did suggest that Haiti should have an established group of elite individuals that are, holy enough, by this I mean intelligent, to promote global unification as a means to every good we aspire. I mean, to be honest Ambassador, Haiti would truly define the flags motto. If a World Union promoting group were to emerge, we wouldn't need to try to get funding, it would, overflow.

by: Henri Borno
March 19, 2012 3:11 PM
Surely Haiti is a Royal treasure being kept. Saving the resources to protect the Royal families of today. From oil to gold, as a basic not only laughing so hard. Royal effort through the USA amongst other nations; USA in presidential rings just as a reminder of who is in charge. But who is to say? Borno understanding December the 21st as the best moment yet? I'll be the one to post a shovel on the flag instead of golden cannons. Peace to the good.

by: Winsor
March 17, 2012 9:33 AM
Haiti needs help more than ever. So people do what you can to help my country. Hopefully one day i can go to Haiti, and be proud of the work the people did. Thank you very much!!

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missionsi
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X
George Putic
July 30, 2015 8:59 PM
Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missions

Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Civil Rights Leaders Struggled to Achieve Voting Rights Act

Fifty years ago, lawmakers approved, and U.S. President Lyndon Johnson signed, the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The measure outlawed racial discrimination in voting, giving millions of blacks in many parts of the southern United States federal enforcement of the right to vote. Correspondent Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights leaders who were on the front lines in the struggle for voting rights.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Hometown of Boy Scouts of America Founder Reacts to Gay Leader Decision

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video 'Metal Muscles' Flex a New Bionic Hand

Artificial limbs, including the most complex of them – the human hand – are getting more life-like and useful due to constant advances in tiny hydraulic, pneumatic and electric motors called actuators. But now, as VOA’s George Putic reports, scientists in Germany say the future of the prosthetic hand may lie not in motors but in wires that can ‘remember’ their shape.
Video

Video Russia Accused of Abusing Interpol to Pursue Opponents

A British pro-democracy group has accused Russia of abusing the global law enforcement agency Interpol by requesting the arrest and extradition of political opponents. A new report by the group notes such requests can mean the accused are unable to travel and are often unable to open bank accounts. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video 'Positive Atmosphere' Points Toward TPP Trade Deal in Hawaii

Talks on a major new trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations are said to be nearing completion in Hawaii. Some trade experts say the "positive atmosphere" at the discussions could mean a deal is within reach, but there is still hard bargaining to be done over many issues and products, including U.S. drugs and Japanese rice. VOA's Jim Randle reports.
Video

Video Genome Initiative Urgently Moves to Freeze DNA Before Species Go Extinct

Earth is in the midst of its sixth mass extinction. The last such event was caused by an asteroid 66 million years ago. It killed off the dinosaurs and practically everything else. So scientists are in a race against time to classify the estimated 11 million species alive today. So far only 2 million are described by science, and researchers are worried many will disappear before they even have a name. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Scientists: One-Dose Malaria Cure is Possible

Scientists have long been trying to develop an effective protection and cure for malaria - one of the deadliest diseases that affects people in tropical areas, especially children. As the World Health Organization announces plans to begin clinical trials of a promising new vaccine, scientists in South Africa report that they too are at an important threshold. George Putic reports, they are testing a compound that could be a single-dose cure for malaria.
Video

Video 'New York' Magazine Features 35 Cosby Accusers

The latest issue of 'New York' magazine features 35 women who say they were drugged and raped by film and television celebrity Bill Cosby. The women are aged from 44 to 80 and come from different walks of life and races. The magazine interviewed each of them separately, but Zlatica Hoke reports their stories are similar.
Video

Video US Calls Fight Against Human Trafficking a Must Win

The United States is promising not to give up its fight against what Secretary of State John Kerry calls the “scourge” of modern slavery. Officials released the country’s annual human trafficking report Monday – a report that’s being met with some criticism. VOA’s National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more from the State Department.
Video

Video Washington DC Underground Streetcar Station to Become Arts Venue

Abandoned more than 50 years ago, the underground streetcar station in Washington D.C.’s historic DuPont Circle district is about to be reborn. The plan calls for turning the spacious underground platforms - once meant to be a transportation hub, - into a unique space for art exhibitions, presentations, concerts and even a film set. Roman Mamonov has more from beneath the streets of the U.S. capital. Joy Wagner narrates his report.
Video

Video Europe’s Twin Crises Collide in Greece as Migrant Numbers Soar

Greece has replaced Italy as the main gateway for migrants into Europe, with more than 100,000 arrivals in the first six months of 2015. Many want to move further into Europe and escape Greece’s economic crisis, but they face widespread dangers on the journey overland through the Balkans. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Stink Intensifies as Lebanon’s Trash Crisis Continues

After the closure of a major rubbish dump a week ago, the streets of Beirut are filling up with trash. Having failed to draw up a plan B, politicians are struggling to deal with the problem. John Owens has more for VOA from Beirut.
Video

Video Paris Rolls Out Blueprint to Fight Climate Change

A U.N. climate conference in December aims to produce an ambitious agreement to fight heat-trapping greenhouse gases. But many local governments are not waiting, and have drafted their own climate action plans. That’s the case with Paris — which is getting special attention, since it’s hosting the climate summit. Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at the transformation of the French capital into an eco-city.

VOA Blogs