Far fewer people died or were left homeless by last year's devastating earthquake than claimed by Haitian leaders, a report commissioned by the U.S. government has concluded -- challenging a central premise behind a multibillion-dollar aid and reconstruction effort.
The report, a copy of which was obtained Monday by The Associated Press, estimates that the death toll was between 46,000 and 85,000, far below the Haitian government's official figure of 316,000. The report was prepared for the U.S. Agency for International Development but has not yet been publicly released.
Haitian authorities stood by the figures they released last year.
The report has inconsistencies, however, and won't be released publicly until they are resolved, U.S. State Department spokeswoman Preeti Shah told the AP.
"The first draft of the report contained internal inconsistencies with its own findings," Shah said in a telephone interview from Washington. "We are reviewing these inconsistencies ... to ensure information we release is accurate."