Thursday, February 18, 2010

Haitians Need Shelter

(Photo by John Carroll)

Heurese, our Haitian Hearts patient, travelled from Bainet to Carrefour today. Bainet is on the southern coast of Haiti.

This afternoon she called and reported that the capital is "very dirty". When I asked her where she was going to sleep tonight, she calmly replied "on the ground in Carrefour".

Another Haitian e mailed today stating that he and his family needed a tent.

Lack of shelter is a big issue everywhere in Haiti but especially in the Port-au-Prince area.

Port-au-Prince is built on the side of a mountain. Many more lives will be lost in the coming months unless hundreds of thousands of people can be moved to higher areas and provided with adequate shelter and clean water.

Can't we do this? We all have Twitter, Blogger, Facebook, and a seemingly infinite number of smart phones. We have technology out the kazoo.

But do we have the heart?

Please see article from the BBC below.

Haiti Tent Need Urgent, UN Says

The United Nations has urged countries to rush tents to Haiti to help protect more than one million people made homeless by January's earthquake.

"We need latrines, we need field tents, we need plastic sheets so that people can cover themselves," said the UN's top official in Haiti, Edmond Mulet.

"The rains are coming. I don't think we are going to be able to shelter all these people in time," he warned.

He was speaking after Haiti aid talks with EU and US officials in Spain.

Heavy rain fell on Thursday in Haiti, forcing many people to scramble for shelter.

The massive 12 January earthquake killed up to 230,000 people in and around the Haitian capital, Port-au-Prince.

Homeless quake victims are still sheltering in makeshift camps scattered across the ruined capital. Sanitation is a major problem, with aid workers warning of the threat of disease spreading.

Spain, the current holder of the EU presidency, says the homeless Haitians must be relocated as soon as possible.

The talks in La Granja, near the Spanish town of Segovia, were aimed at better co-ordinating the aid effort by the EU, UN and US.

Leaked e-mail

The UN says its appeal for $576m (£366m; 420m euros) in emergency funding for Haiti has now been 95% met.

The EU's aid for Haiti, including planned pledges, totals nearly 309m euros, of which 120m euros is European Commission money.

On a visit to Haiti on Wednesday the French President, Nicolas Sarkozy, pledged 270m euros in reconstruction aid for the former French colony.

The UN head of humanitarian affairs, John Holmes, has criticised the performance of aid agencies in Haiti.

In a leaked e-mail to agencies, Mr Holmes - who visited Haiti after the earthquake - said a lot had been achieved but that much of their efforts had been poorly co-ordinated and resourced, weakening confidence in their ability to deliver help.

He said major humanitarian needs had not been met, particularly in relation to shelter and sanitation.

Story from BBC NEWS:

Published: 2010/02/18 17:50:53 GMT


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