TEXT OF INTERVIEW
STEVE CHIOTAKIS: A year ago today, in Haiti, time stopped. Not that Haiti — one of the western hemisphere’s poorest countries — had progressed much into the 21st century. Let alone the 20th. But when a massive earthquake jolted the country to 7.0 on the Richter scale, the devastation was beyond belief.
Tracy Wilkinson is a reporter for the Los Angeles Times and she’s with us from Port-au-Prince. Hi Tracy.
TRACEY WILKINSON: Hi. How are you?
CHIOTAKIS: Doing well. How are people doing economically in Haiti one year later? What’s going on there?
WILKINSON: There’s a lot of frustration at the very low pace of recovery. Perhaps nearly a million people are still living in tents and that kinds of precarious shelter. Many many many people are still unemployed — no jobs. If they had jobs before, they’ve not been able to become reemployed.
CHIOTAKIS: How are people getting by, Tracy?
WILKINSON: Very much hand to mouth. There is a lot of food and water from the international community, the charity agencies. some people receive remittances from relatives abroad, and live by that. That’s how they’re getting by.
CHIOTAKIS: Where are we right now in the relief efforts, Tracy? how is money being funneled into Haiti?
WILKINSON: Different ways, and that’s been one of the problems. A lot of foreign governments and some of the agencies are reluctant to give money directly to the Haitian government for a variety of reasons including a history of corruption. So money has come very slowly through that route. There is what they call a cluster of aid agencies under the offices of mostly the United Nations that funnel a lot of the money as well.
CHIOTAKIS: Tracy Wilkinson, reporter for the LA Times. Tracy, thank you so much.
WILKINSON: Thank you.
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