U.N. official praises progress in Haiti’s recovery

The United Nations development chief has commended Haiti’s progress in rebuilding its capital, Port-au-Prince, two years after a devastating earthquake rocked the country killing 200,000 people.

“I saw a huge difference from the desolation I saw four days after the earthquake: The streets of Port-au-Prince are alive again,” said Helen Clark. She is the administrator of the U.N. Development Programme. This was her second visit to the country since the earthquake on January 2010. “I feel very confident in the capacity of the Haitian people to rebuild their own country.”

More than 80,000 buildings in Port-au-Prince and surrounding areas collapsed after the magnitude 7.0 earthquake, leaving a mass of concrete, steel and other debris, equivalent to 4,000 Olympic-sized swimming pools.

In a press release, the U.N. agency said more than 60 per cent of the 10 million cubic meters of rubble caused by the earthquake has been removed in one of the largest-scale clearance operations of its kind by the U.N. and its partners.

Some 25,000 cubic meters of the rubble have also been re-used this year on new infrastructure through a strategy for debris management developed by the government in conjunction with the U.N.

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