Aug 17 - Former U.S. president Bill Clinton returns to Haiti as concerns grow over lack of visible progress in rebuilding the earthquake-shattered country. Nick Rowlands reports.
Former US President Bill Clinton tours an artisan centre in Haiti. He is co-Chairman of the Interim Haiti Recovery Commission, aimed at alleviating poverty in the Western hemisphere's poorest nation. The visit is part of regular assessment trips to the country, amid criticism that little progress has been made in rebuilding Port au-Prince after last year's massive earthquake. Clinton's artisan tour follows a visit last month by Martha Stewart and Macy's CEO Terry Lundgren, who intend to employ hundreds of Haitian artisans to produce a line of household items. (SOUNDBITE) (English) CLINTON: "One of the things that anyone who has ever spent any time here knows is that this is a nation of extremely gifted artists and artisans." The Haitian government is keen to rebuild downtown Port au-Prince to encourage tourism and commerce. (SOUNDBITE) (English) CLINTON: "I'm trying to support President Martelly in his desire to increase investment in Haiti across the board. He just announced a new commission that he's setting up with former heads of state and business people to get even more people to come down here and see what they can do to support your efforts." Yet a year after the magnitude 7.0 earthquake decimated the capital killing hundreds of thousands of people, infrastructure remains devastated, classrooms have not been rebuilt, and those homeless are still living in tent camps. Nick Rowlands, Reuters.