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Bill Clinton in Haiti

CAROL MARTINDALE, [email protected]

Bill Clinton in Haiti

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Former United States president Bill Clinton today held talks with the two front runners for the March 20 presidential election in Haiti. 
Clinton, who is making a one-day visit to the earthquake battered country is reported to have discussed the plans of the two candidates for the reconstruction of the poorest nation in the hemisphere that was hit by the powerful 7.0 earthquake on January 12 last year, killing an estimated 300,000 people and leaving more than a million others homeless.
The meeting with the former first lady Mirlande Manigat and the popular musician Micgael Martelly was held behind closed doors.
Clinton, the special U.N. envoy to Haiti, who also co-chairs the Interim Haiti Reconstruction Commission and Prime Minister Jean-Max Bellerive are scheduled to host a news conference later on Tuesday.
Meanwhile,  the cholera outbreak that has killed nearly 4,000 people since October 2010 has not been suppressed despite billions of dollars in promised aid, according to a report by Haitian and US researchers.
The report says more than a third of people made homeless by the earthquake still do not have access to clean water, and a quarter still do not have a toilet.
The report, by New York’s City University, is based on a survey by Haitian sociologists. It says aid agencies have failed to address the real causes of the cholera outbreak – including widespread poverty and unemployment that was endemic before last January’s earthquake.
The new study says the international community and the Haitian government failed to capitalise on the movement of people out of the capital Port au Prince in the immediate aftermath of the earthquake.
It says there was an opportunity at that time to undo the mistakes of the past including “failed neo liberal development policies that swelled the population of shanty towns of the capital”. (CMC)