Washington, Jan 26 (Calcutta Tube) The US plans to create thousands of jobs in Haiti by hiring people to help with the cleanup following the earthquake earlier this month, a US official said Monday.
The US State Department’s coordinator for relief and reconstruction, Lewis Lucke, said creating the jobs is critical for pumping money into the economy as part of the recovery effort. The US government is aiming to create 20,000 jobs by the end of January.
‘Job creation has to be part of any recovery plan,’ he said.
The United States is playing a lead role in the massive international relief operation mobilized after the 7.0 magnitude quake Jan 12. At least 112,000 people are confirmed dead and that number is expected to climb.
The earthquake tore through Port-au-Prince, essentially turning the capital into a pile of rubble. Lucke said the US has already begun the process of hiring people to help clear the streets and clean up what were once buildings.
Lucke said this effort will increase as the mission transits from rescue to recovery and helping the Haitian economy.
‘We’re moving as fast as we can,’ Lucke said.
The US has deployed a large presence at Port-au-Prince airport to move in relief supplies, and ships centered around the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson off the coast of the Caribbean island.
Lieutenant General Ken Keen, the commander of the joint US military operation, said the United States will have a lengthy role in helping Haiti get through this, but would not say how long the military will stay.
‘We will be here for as long as needed,’ Keen said.
Meanwhile, the State Department said Monday the US has evacuated more than 360 Haitian orphans and is working through adoption centres to re-settle them in the country.
Spokesman PJ Crowley said it expects that number to climb by 200 in the coming days on top of the 363 already taken out.
The US government was working with adoption centres to find them new homes, he said.