Martelly to reform Haiti reconstruction panel

Haitian President Michel Martelly plans to announce Friday a major overhaul of the reconstruction commission.

Martelly’s plan calls for reforms aimed at strengthening the 34-member panel responsible for disbursing $5.5 billion in promised aid. He also wants the group’s mandate extended by a year. The changes will be announced at a meeting with foreign donors.

The much-anticipated meeting will be the first time that Martelly speaks publicly about his vision for the Interim Haiti Recovery Commission — putting to rest speculation about whether the panel would be revamped or scrapped once its mandate expires in October.

Maxine Waters, D-California, meanwhile, has questioned the ability of the Martelly administration to steer Haiti’s recovery.

“I’m worried about Haiti. I’m worried about the ability of the new government to be leaders to get this done,’’ she said. “I’m worried about the fact that Haiti has never shown any real capability of acquiring the land, much of it in the hand of the elite. I’m worried that reconstruction hasn’t just moved fast enough.”

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