Haiti Marks 6-Month Quake Anniversary With Hope

Nuncio Classifies Situation as “Still Terrible”

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PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, JULY 12, 2010 (Zenit.org).- Rebuilding Haiti is a slow but hopeful process, according to the apostolic nuncio on the island.

Archbishop Bernardito Auza, a native of the Philippines, affirmed this to the Fides news agency when he spoke about the reconstruction of the country.

Haiti, already the poorest nation of the Western world, was devastated by an earthquake that struck six months ago today, counting among its 300,000 victims the archbishop of Port-au-Prince, Joseph Serge Miot, and almost 30 seminarians.

The Pope’s representative on the island classified the situation as “still terrible,” noting that the destroyed roads and debris make is seem that “the earthquake just happened yesterday.”

“Many people who are living in tents still have nothing and then there are still many poor people who do not even have tents and do not see a way out,” he said.

Archbishop Auza pointed to bureaucratic problems as part of the delay. A commission created to oversee the reconstruction was initially declined by the Haitian government due to a lack of native Haitians on the board. Another commission was composed and “it seems that now they can finally get to work,” he explained.

Out of hand

Even the Church has been hampered by the inefficacy.  
The archbishop lamented that “some religious institutions cannot begin to rebuild the buildings or houses, because they lack a safety certificate issued by the government for that area. And that part does not depend on us.”

The Church’s priority project, however, is the construction of two national seminaries for the country. One was destroyed in the earthquake, leaving homeless a group of diocesan seminarians.

The nuncio thanked bishops’ conferences from around the world for their support with the project, particularly acknowledging help from France and the United States.

He said that “this has helped to raise the spirits of all of us working to rebuild the Church in Haiti; it is like seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. Our hope is to lay the first stone or offer some concrete possibility on the first anniversary of the earthquake on Jan. 12, 2011.”

Archbishop Auza’s appeal to the international community is still clear: “that everyone sees that there is still much left to do. We still need help.”

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ZENIT Staff

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