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A Tale Of Two Haitis At FIU Panel Discussion

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Josue Clarmont (Source: CBS4)

Josue Clarmont (Source: CBS4)

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MIAMI (CBS4) – It seemed like a tale of two Haitis at Florida International University on Thursday morning. A panel discussion on the anniversary of Haiti’s earthquake seemed to paint two very different pictures about the progress, or lack there of, the island has made since the ground shook in 2010.

“I think the situation is really bad, if not worse,” said Josue Clarmont, an FIU graduate who just returned from Haiti in December.

“People that need jobs can not find jobs,” he said. “And if you look just at the airport once you landed and you see all the people under the tent, they have no way for them to get back on their feet on their own. The government is not doing their job properly.”

Haitian government officials attending the panel discussion painted a much different story.

“Haiti is definitely on the verge of getting better,” said Francois Guillaume II, Haitian Consul General in Miami. “There is a lot of good signals in terms of the government being able to do some concrete actions for the population.”

Guillaume said the Haitian government has put 900,000 children in school since the quake.

“Education is priority for all our children in Haiti,” said Guillaume. “They may be under a tent, but they have to have a chance in life.”

He said Haiti has gone from 1.5 million people living in tents to half a million still living on the streets.

“There’s been a lot of stalemate,” he admits. “There’s certain actions that should have happened that did not happen because we didn’t have a government. The Parliament and the executive had a difference of opinion on who should be the prime minister. That cost us a few months.”

But now seven months after the new government has been in place many are wondering why progress is moving so slow and where are all the resources going. Two years after the crisis, it seems to some Haiti is still in an emergency phase and nowhere near the real rebuilding it needs.

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