In a post on the Philanthropy Front and Center - New York blog, our colleague Ines Sucre reminds us that the earthquake which rocked Haiti in January, flattening large swaths of Port-au-Prince and displacing an estimated 1.5 million people, is likely "the largest urban disaster in history."
The characterization isn't Sucre's; it's how UN and Haitian officials have described the aftermath of the 7.0-magnitude quake and is mentioned in an eye-opening New York Times article by Deborah Sontag about the many obstacles to recovery in the impoverished Caribbean nation ("In Haiti, the Displaced Are Left Clinging to the Edge," July 2010).
Removal of rubble, for example, is a $500 million problem (or 40 percent of the $1.3 billion raised to date by nonprofits to help Haiti recover) and would take three to five years with 1,000 trucks working daily; at the moment, the Times reports there are fewer than 300 trucks hauling rubble.
Construction of transitional shelters is another problem. The Times, citing international experts, reports that Haiti will need 125,000 such shelters, but to date only 5,500 have been completed -- and most of those have been built in the countryside, where, Sontag writes, "land issues are simpler."
Ines includes a couple of excerpts from a Times op-ed ("Finishing Haiti's Unfinished Work") written by former President Bill Clinton and Haitian prime minister Jean-Max Bellerive, who are co-chairing an Interim Haiti Reconstruction Commission established by the Haitian parliament. (According to the Times, the commission met for the first, and so far only time, in June.) She also provides a roundup of news items and related resources, to which we add here. (Thanks, Ines!)
Haiti: Six Months On
"Haiti Earthquake: Six Months Later, Are Relief Efforts Dragging?
Christian Science Monitor
Haiti, Six Months Since the Earthquake (podcast; 30 min., 14 secs)
"In Haiti, the Displaced Are Left Clinging to the Edge"
New York Times
"Red Cross Announces New, Expanded Haiti Relief Programs"
Philanthropy News Digest
"Six Months On, Haiti Aid Push Falters
Wall Street Journal
"Six Months Later: The Haiti Earthquake"
About.com: Nonprofit Charitable Orgs (Joanne Fritz)
Haiti: How Can I Help? Models for Donors Seeking Long-Term Impact
Center for High-Impact Philanthropy, University of Pennsylvania
"How Charities Are Helping Haiti: How Much They Raised and Spent"
Chronicle of Philanthropy
Focus on: Haiti Earthquake Relief and Recovery
Crisis in Haiti: Six Months On
International Rescue Committee
"Report Faults Haiti Aid Groups on Openness" (Dot Earth blog)
New York Times
Have a news item or resource you'd like to see included in this list? Feel free to share in the comments section.
-- Mitch Nauffts