Prime Minister Jean-Max Bellerive says Haiti's government will appropriate privately held land to build temporary camps for earthquake victims.

Bellerive tells The Associated Press that the government owns some land but not nearly enough, meaning he has no choice but to take over private land. The law provides for this as long as the owners are fairly compensated.

International aid groups say hundreds of hectares (acres) are needed to get quake victims out of overcrowded makeshift camps in public parks and lots in Port-au-Prince.

Officials say 1.2 million Haitians were left homeless by the Jan. 12 quake, about half of them in the capital. Bellerive spoke with the AP on Thursday.