Evidence of the earthquake still scars Haiti five years after the disaster

A demonstrator holds up a sign for an anti-government protest in Port-au-Prince December 5, 2014 Credit: REUTERS/Marie Arago

The enormous challenges still facing impoverished Haiti – five years after an earthquake killed more than 200,000 people, displaced more than two million, and destroyed the country’s infrastructure – are bleakly evident as we take the four-and-a-half hour trip to Les Cayes, in southwestern Haiti, to mark the completion of one of our projects there.

Haitians have proved remarkably resilient in the face of adversity but many are angry that five years after the earthquake, around 80,000 people still live in crude displacement camps, 80% of the population still live below the absolute poverty line, and more than 40% of the population suffers from food insecurity... and the list goes on.

And then there’s the fact that more than 40% of the population is below the age of 18. They need care, and the educational system needs investment.

Add to this a political crisis that has paralysed the country for more than three years, preventing scheduled elections and fueling a popular sense, on both sides of the political divide, that ordinary Haitians are paying the price.

This is exacerbated by the perception that much of the foreign post-earthquake aid has not really made the promised impact. Given all this, it’s not surprising that there have been violent street protests.

Anthony Mills is a communications advisor for SOS Children's Villages. His views do not necessarily reflect those of ITV News.