Washington (CNN) – Five years after the Indian Ocean tsunami devastated the Indonesian region of Aceh and killed 200,000 people, reconstruction is still under way.
The destruction unleashed by the Haiti earthquake is comparable, but the challenge to rebuild the country is even greater, and the recovery process likely will take even longer.
To call Haiti a "fragile" state before this month's devastating earthquake would be generous. Haiti is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere and one of the poorest in the world, with unemployment at more than 50 percent and more than half of the population living on a dollar a day.
Now about 400,000 people have been left homeless. And with the majority of the capital's businesses destroyed, Haitians have gone quickly from poor to destitute.