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Haiti president bemoans lack of coordination in aid relief

world Updated: Jan 30, 2010 09:28 IST

Haiti President Rene Preval has criticised a lack of coordination among countries bringing aid to the Caribbean nation in the wake of the Jan 12 earthquake.

Many donor nations were helping with "all good intentions" but "without coordination", Preval said after a meeting here with Ecuador President Rafael Correa.

He said countries such as Germany, the US and France were channelling their assistance through their own institutions and bypassing the Haitian government, which is seeking to coordinate the efforts.

Preval noted that Haiti was hit by the devastating earthquake when it still had not recovered from four destructive cyclones, and said now is the time to decentralise the country's development with regional infrastructure.

Preval rejected the "logic of the republic of Port-au-Prince", and called for roads, ports, airports and jobs in the provinces to slow the rate of internal migration to the capital, which had swelled to three million inhabitants when the quake hit.

"We're not talking about reconstruction, but about construction," he said.

"Decentralisation means to reinforce local authorities, transfer administrative activities," Preval said, but noted that Haiti's constitution mandates that Port-au-Prince remain the capital.

The death toll from the quake is still be counted. Preval mentioned 170,000 dead, but other government sources said the toll was more than 180,000 and could still increase.