President Obama urged the international community to "fulfill its pledges" to aid ongoing recovery efforts in Haiti nearly one year after the island nation was rocked by a devastating earthquake.

In a statement, Obama encouraged people to "honor the memory of the quarter of a million Haitians who were lost" and reiterated that work to restore basic services in the poor nation is not yet complete.


"Haiti can and must lead the way, with a strong vision for its future. The international community must now fulfill the pledges it has made to ensure a strong and sustained long-term effort," he said.

Three hundred and sixty-four days after the 7.0 magnitude earthquake hit, which leveled much of the capital of city Port-au-Prince, recovery efforts are still sluggish. Debris lines the streets in many places and many Haitians are still without their homes. 

Observers have pointed to Haiti's weak central government and lack of existing infrastructure for the slow progress of rebuilding.

The United Nations pledged more than $5 billion in aid for Haiti last year and the U.S. designated more than $1 billion, but only a fraction of that money has been spent. Americans also donated $1.4 billion to private charities but those groups have only doled out 38 percent of that total, according to The Associated Press.

Obama reiterated that Haiti still has the full support of the United States moving forward.

"And as they forge ahead with the hard work of rebuilding their proud country, the people of Haiti will continue to have an enduring partner in the United States," said the president.