Aid group says Haiti rebuilding effort too slow

10th January 2011, Comments 0 comments

French-based aid group Architectes de l'Urgence (Emergency Architects) said Monday the reconstruction effort in Haiti one year after a devastating earthquake is moving too slow.

Foundation president Patrick Coulombel said the main factor in the delay is the decision by the United Nations to wait for the installation of a new elected government.

"The reason (for the slow pace) is the political decision by the United Nations," he said in a statement released by the group.

"During this time, the homeless remain in tent cities."

Coulombel said the organization, which has raised some 2.5 million euros (3.2 million dollars) for Haiti, has been effectively paralyzed by bureaucracy.

"We do not have the means to work, especially funding," he said. "The centralized decision-making by the UN has blocked the ability to react, with red tape."

He said the architects group, which seeks to help in rebuilding and restoring damaged structures, is still awaiting building codes, for example.

Haitian officials have said some 390,000 structures were destroyed or damaged in the quake. Of this, less than a thousand can be repaired, while the rest -- an estimated square footage of eight million square meters (86 million square feet) must be cleared.

Coulombel said the group is working to help build homes, schools and other structures in Haiti to help an estimated 800,000 people still living in makeshift camps.

© 2011 AFP

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