The United Way of Miami-Dade awarded its fourth set of grants this week for work in Haiti following the January earthquake.<p/> They include $78,000 to Food for the Poor to build 15 homes; $49,000 to World Vision for shelter, water and food; $33,000 to Project Medishare for supplies for children's intensive care units and a field hospital in Port-au-Prince; $15,000 to L'Athletique d'Haiti to relocate people from temporary shelters to higher ground and $25,000 to Cooperative for Assistance and Relief Everywhere (CARE) for hurricane straps to brace weakened shelters before the rainy season.
Former President Bill Clinton, who has spent the past year championing Haiti, has a new job: co-czar of Haiti's post-earthquake reconstruction.<p/> Clinton said Tuesday that he accepted the Haitian government offer to help lead the country's reconstruction over the next 18 months. The announcement came on the eve of an international donors conference at the United Nations to raise $3.9 billion of the $11.5 billion the country says it needs to rebuild after the devastating Jan. 12 earthquake.
In March 1983, Pope John Paul II delivered a moving sermon in Haiti. Denouncing the “division, injustice, excessive inequality, degradation, misery, hunger and fear'' he found in the Western Hemisphere's poorest country, the pontiff made an impassioned plea for change.
No one in the tight-knit group of neighbors in Cite Militaire knows exactly where Junior came from. The boy, whose lean frame makes him look younger than his 12 years, was found wandering barefoot through the city the day after the earthquake. He hasn't spoken much since.
Those who left Haiti and now live abroad, Edeline Clermont says, can't help but feel a twinge of guilt.<p/> “Maybe if we had been there we could have done more,'' she said, acknowledging a sense of helplessness as she watches news reports about the Jan. 12 earthquake that killed more than 200,000 people and left the government reeling.
As Haiti faces the immense task of recovery, no foreign country will play a more important role in shaping the nation's future than the United States. The U.S. reaction has been generous, and the Obama administration has made a major contribution to Haiti's relief, but it needs to do more.