One Year After Quake, Haiti Still Struggling

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The people of Haiti paused Wednesday to remember those who lost their lives in the massive Jan.12 earthquake that killed hundreds of thousands and injured countless others one year ago.

Since that time, the tiny island nation has continued to struggle with the disaster. According to Haiti's prime minister, death estimates have actually increased, with fatalities likely being 316,000, instead of the estimated 230,000.

While the streets are a buzz of activity these days, signs of the devastation are still evident in the mounds of debris.

"As you look around Port au Prince, it is easy to be overwhelmed by the images," American Red Cross spokeswoman Julie Sell told CBN News.

Julie Sell discussed the progress of humanitarian efforts in Haiti on the Jan. 12 edition of the CBN News Channel's Morning News. Click here for her comments.

Also, click play to watch Efrem Graham's report, followed by comments from David Darg of Operation Blessing International.  The charity has provided aid to Haiti since the earthquake hit.

The Red Cross has taken in more than $400 million in donations since the disaster struck last year. And for every humanitarian organization that responded to the needy country, the first priority was saving lives -- and finding emergency shelter.

"In the last few months, we have ramped up what we call our recovery response. And that involves longer term solutions - things like getting people into safe secure homes," Sell explained.

It's a task that hasn't been easy. More than a million Haitian people are still homeless and living in tent cities.

And there have been even more challenges such as the nation's deadly cholera outbreak. Sell also cited a hurricane and political unrest in recent weeks as factors which have delayed Haiti's recovery.

"There is no question those things make it hard for us to get aid to the most vulnerable Haitians," she said.

Meanwhile, numerous memorial services were taking place to mark the somber anniversary of the 7.0 quake.

Former U.S. President Bill Clinton is in the country to address progress on matters like rubble removal -- yet another major challenge for the poor country.

"Only about 60 percent of what was allocated for the first year was dispersed in 2010," Clinton noted. "It's better than what some people say, but it's nowhere near good enough."

The former president said the U.S. is prepared to stand by the country in what is still considered its long road ahead.

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Efrem Graham

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Efrem Graham is an award-winning journalist, who comes to CBN News from the ABC owned and operated station in Toledo, Ohio.  He received his master's degree from the Columbia University Journalism School. He also holds a bachelor's degree in English Literature from the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey.  Follow Efrem on Twitter @EfremGraham and "like" him at Facebook.com/EfremGrahamCBN.