Haiti’s prime minister defends speed of post-quake rebuilding, says elections are on track

By Jennifer Kay, AP
Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Haitian PM defends speed of post-quake rebuilding

CORAL GABLES, Fla. — Haiti’s prime minister defended the speed of reconstruction in his earthquake-ravaged country in a speech Tuesday, saying rubble in the capital is being cleared as fast as possible.

Speaking at the Americas Conference in Florida, Prime Minister Jean-Max Bellerive said presidential elections will be held in November as planned, and recovery projects initiated since the Jan. 12 earthquake remain on track.

“One (U.S.) official said it would take a thousand trucks one thousand days to remove the rubble from the streets of Port-au-Prince,” Bellerive said. “Haiti does not have a thousand trucks and Haiti has not had one thousand days.”

The accomplishments Bellerive listed included the restoration of electricity, getting students back to class and his government’s plans for roads linking cities throughout the mountainous country.

Bellerive said plans to rebuild Haiti cannot move faster than funding for those projects, and that some progress was being blocked because the Haitian government does not control the disbursement of money pledged in the earthquake’s aftermath.

He implored the international community to invest in Haiti, saying job creation was the backbone of the country’s recovery.

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