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In a place that actor-activist Sean Penn describes as a “disaster beyond anyone’s experience, including the aid workers,” and where “the only legitimate leadership is fractured” due to the physical devastation caused by an earthquake in January of this year, there are those – besides Penn and his J/P Haitian Relief Organization (JPHRO) – who remain engaged in Haiti’s long and arduous recovery.

Former US president, Bill Clinton – who is a UN Special Envoy for Haiti – and his William J. Clinton Foundation will provide a half-million dollars for the camp run by JPHRO.

“Rebuilding housing for more than 1 million people displaced by the earthquake will take time, as teams on the ground continue to clear rubble and build infrastructure, including water and sanitation systems,” said Clinton in a press release. “In the interim, our commitment to the camp will ensure the 55,000 people living there, including many children, can access health care, education, and job training services until families are able to move into more permanent homes.”

Grateful for the support, Penn praised his staff and volunteers “who have earned this tremendous foundation’s faith in their contribution and continuing efforts.”

Penn has been critical of the slow progress made in Haiti over the past months, sighting a lack of communication as one of the biggest problems – when Medishare, the primary medical NGO, doesn’t know where to get blood to treat patients, the consequences can be fatal, unnecessarily. A shortage of doctors is another challenge as Haiti recedes from people’s thoughts since it isn’t a breaking news story anymore.

He’d like to see the rubble moved to get people out of camps and back into their neighborhoods, as well as schools getting built. This new funding is a good step.

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