One year since a devastating earthquake struck Haiti, the western hemisphere's poorest country is still reeling, with reconstruction moving at a snail's pace, millions of people still without permanent homes and a cholera epidemic that has killed thousands.
On the political front, the recent first-round of the presidential election is under investigation for fraud.
This situation is testing the international community's capacity to deliver and sustain aid effectively.
This has caused leaders such as US President Barack Obama to call for a renewed focus on rebuilding Haiti.
In a statement issued on the eve of the quake anniversary, Obama urged the international community to "fulfil its pledges", saying they needed to honour the memory of the quarter of a million Haitians whose lives were lost.
"On this day when our thoughts and prayers are with the Haitian people, my message is the same as it was last year. Haiti can and must lead the way, with a strong vision for its future," Obama said.
"The international community must now fulfil the pledges it has made to ensure a strong and sustained long-term effort."
Obama warned that despite the saving of countless lives this year, and the fact that many Haitians had better access to food and health care than before the earthquake, serious deprivation remained.
"Too much rubble continues to clog the streets, too many people are still living in tents, and for so many Haitians, progress has not come fast enough," he said.
"As we have said all along, helping the poorest nation in the western hemisphere recover from one of the worst natural disasters ever to strike our hemisphere will take years, if not decades."
Observers have pointed to Haiti's weak central government and lack of existing infrastructure for the slow progress of rebuilding.
In a statement issued by his spokesperson, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon noted that the UN and international response to "a disaster of unparalleled magnitude" was one of the largest ever mounted. "These efforts must be redoubled and renewed," said Ban.
The UN pledged more than $5 billion in aid for Haiti last year, while other countries, such as South Africa and US, donated millions to private charities.
Ban reiterated calls for the international community to continue its support for the people of Haiti.
UNICEF, meanwhile, said thousands of Haitian children were still suffering.
"We have seen results in the past year, but significant gaps remain and much more must be done," UNCEF Haiti Representative, Francoise Gruloos-Ackermans, said, stressing that the recovery process is just beginning.
"Haiti poses huge institutional and systemic issues that predated the earthquake, which require more than an emergency response," she added of the 12 January 2010 tragedy, noting that four million children continue to suffer from inequitable access to water, sanitation, healthcare, education services and protection from disease, exploitation, and unsanitary conditions.
Article courtesy of BuaNews, visit: http://www.buanews.gov.za/