Canada dismisses Haiti aid critics, says much done

OTTAWA (Reuters) – Canada dismissed criticism of the international reconstruction effort in Haiti yesterday, saying much is being done to help the impoverished country recover from the huge earthquake that hit it on Jan. 12.

To mark the six-month anniversary of the quake, which killed about 225,000 people and left 1.5 million homeless, a number of Canadian and international media have noted how much work remains to be carried out.

Canada — one of the largest aid donors to Haiti — has so far spent C$150 million ($144 million) of the C$400 million it committed to the recovery effort over two years.

“To respond to (the) comment that nothing has been done — certainly a great deal has been done … the immediate basic humanitarian needs were met and they continue to be met,” International Aid Minister Bev Oda told a news conference.

“There are millions of people receiving food, water, shelter. There are child protection centers up and running, some schools have been opened … there have been no major disease outbreaks. Violence has been managed,” she said.

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