January 11: The Washington Post published a story that while many lives were saved after the Haiti earthquake, one year later, many Haitians remain impoverished. However, USAID’s $19 million cash for work program employed 350,000 people after the earthquake.
January 11 : AP and The Seattle Times wrote that the Gates Foundation and USAID have partnered to offer a $2.5 million prize to Haitian cellular operator Digicel, the first company to launch a service for Haitians to do banking by mobile phone. According to USAID’s Haiti mission director, “the project already has increased significantly the number of Haitians with access to banking services.”
January 11: The LA Weekly blog reported that according to a State Department fact sheet, food security in Haiti has improved due to the work of USAID. Before the earthquake, about 80 percent of the Haitian population was living below the poverty line. But in three months after the earthquake, USAID’s emergency food relief found its way to 4 million people.
January 12: AOL News reported that while more than $1 billion has been spent in Haiti since the earthquake, only about 1,000 permanent houses have been built to replace the ones that were destroyed during the quake. Meanwhile, USAID continues to receive emails daily from organizations seeking funding.
January 12: USA Today wrote that the United Nations, USAID and Haiti’s government insist progress is being made in Haiti. According to the UN, the number of people left homeless by the earthquake has dropped from 1.5 million to 1 million, although it is not clear whether those who left the tent camps found housing.
January 12: Voice of America published a story noting that USAID has played an instrumental role in Haiti’s recovery and reconstruction efforts. Among other initiatives, USAID has employed 350,000 people in cash-for-work programs, which have boosted the Haitian economy.
January 12: All Headline News reported that at a special press briefing, USAID Administrator Shah called the Haiti mission, “the largest humanitarian effort ever mounted,” with food distribution reaching 3.5 million people and efforts to get shelter material to 1.5 million people. According to Administrator Shah, the rate of recovery in Haiti is “faster than what we saw in the first two-and-a-half years after the Aceh tragedy in Indonesia.”
January 12 Jewish Telegraphic Agency wrote that an interfaith prayer service was held in Washington, D.C. for the release of USAID subcontractor Alan Gross from a Cuban prison. The event was organized by the InterFaith Conference of Metropolitan Washington
January 13: On NPR’s “Talk of the Nation,” USAID Administrator Shah was interviewed and discussed the progress being made in Haiti one year after the earthquake. Shah explained that the earthquake “was a disaster of unprecedented proportions” but that much has been accomplished “due to the perseverance of the Haitian people, but with great support from the United States and partners around the world.”
January 13: WLKY-TV (Louisville, KY) reported that according to USAID Administrator Shah, “the US has provided more than $1 billion in humanitarian aid to Haiti,” but that the main challenge now lies in “clearing the millions of pieces of rubble that still exist and getting more people out of tents and back into homes.” KETV-TV (Omaha, NE) reported that USAID Administrator Shah “believes it’ll take three to five years to fully recover from the earthquake…and that he will personally assess the situation in Haiti in a few weeks.”
January 13: AP wrote that the American Red Cross, in partnership with USAID, will spend $30 million to build homes in two locations in Haiti.