Haitian priest talks about shattered hopes 3 years after the quake
(Vatican Radio) Three years on from the devastating earthquake in Haiti that left over 1.5 million people homeless, how is the reconstruction effort faring and have poor people's lives been changed for the better? It's the question many are asking on this anniversary but according to Father Francois Kawas, a Jesuit priest in Haiti, there is very little positive news coming from this poverty-stricken nation. He spoke to Vatican Radio's Susy Hodges.
Listen to the extended interview with Father Francois Kawas:
Father Kawas says the situation in his homeland remains extremely difficult with the long term reconstruction not having really begun yet and therefore the Haitian population remains deeply disillusioned over the lack of progress. He says more than 300,000 people still live in either tents or makeshift shelters 3 years after the quake flattened most of the capital of Port Au Prince.
Despite milllions of dollars in aid money having been pledged and sent to Haiti following the quake, the priest says the Haitiian people do not see "many visible results in their daily lives." He also goes on to describe how Haitians are strongly criticising the government and some of the NGO's operating there for this lack of improvement and says corruption is largely to blame. Given this, Father Kawas says there is an urgent need for the international community to put pressure on the government to provide greater transparency and accountability.