PORT-AU-PRINCE — More than five months after a devastating earthquake, there are worrisome signs that the massive rebuilding efforts have stalled, a strongly worded report by the chairman of the powerful U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee says.
Sen. John F. Kerry, D-Mass., is calling on Haitian President Rene Preval to show greater leadership in Haiti's post-quake reconstruction and for international donors, including the United States, to improve coordination and speak with one voice.
"Key decisions remain in flux and critical humanitarian issues related to shelter and resettlement are not resolved," the report said.
The report, to be released Tuesday, also notes that fragmentation and lack of coordination among donors "are undercutting recovery and rebuilding."
Haitian Prime Minister Jean-Max Bellerive, who co-chairs the Interim Haiti Reconstruction Commission, defended the government's handling of the crisis, saying that Preval's leadership has allowed for Haitians to remain united despite the challenges.
"We've kept a united nation during this period; that is leadership," he said.
And Bellerive said the government has a plan to rebuild the country.
"We know where we are going but no one is going to make us go any faster, or in a direction that doesn't benefit the Haitian people," he said.
The 7.0-magnitude quake on Jan. 12 killed a government-estimated 300,000 Haitians, and 1.5 million people remain underneath tents and tarps in a country where a few days of rain could lead to deaths.
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