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Haiti Still Recovering 1 Year After Quake

Children play at the rubble of earthquake-damaged houses in downtown Port-au-Prince, Haiti, 7 Jan 2011

January 12 marks the one-year anniversary of Haiti's devastating earthquake, which killed more than 200,000 people and left 1 million others homeless.

International aid agencies say significant progress has been made in helping the nation recover from the quake. But much work remains to rebuild destroyed cities, homes and lives.

U.S. State Department Counselor Cheryl Mills says the job is still enormous. She told reporters that a million people remain in tents, and 9 million cubic meters of rubble still needs to be removed. She also pointed to an enduring need for jobs.

The head of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), Rajiv Shah, called the massive quake one of the greatest humanitarian challenges the world has ever faced.

He said USAID has worked with the Haitian government during the past year to try to prevent further disasters, and is committed to continuing to help.

Shah highlighted efforts to prepare the drainage system in the capital Port-au-Prince to protect against floods and hurricanes, as well as investments in agriculture, sanitation and health.

He said the U.S. also has invested in bringing mobile banking to Haiti and is working to involve local companies in the reconstruction effort to create jobs and help the local economy.

Along with the earthquake recovery, international agencies have had to deal with additional disasters in Haiti. A severe cholera epidemic that began last year has infected more than 170,000 people, killing more than 3,600.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.