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UN Official: Haiti Humanitarian Crisis Remains


UN top representative on Human Rights for Internally Displaced Persons, Walter Kaelin (file photo)

UN top representative on Human Rights for Internally Displaced Persons, Walter Kaelin (file photo)

A U.N. expert on the rights of displaced persons says a profound humanitarian crisis remains in Haiti and the reconstruction process needs to be accelerated.

The U.N. top representative on Human Rights for Internally Displaced Persons, Walter Kaelin, says there is an urgent need for health care, water, sanitation and education not just in camps for the displaced, but also for other Haitians who remain in their homes.

Kaelin also expressed concerns about high levels of rape and other violence against women and children in the camps.

The U.N. says 1.3 million people are in the camps, nine months after a massive earthquake devastated Haiti.

Kaelin is calling on the Haitian government to come up with a development plan and to enforce the rule of law in the camps.

The U.N. representative also called on international donors to provide funding to allow Haitian neighborhoods to rebuild.

Kaelin made the comments following a recent trip to Haiti. His findings are similar to those expressed in a recent report from the advocacy group, Refugees International.

A 7.0-magnitude earthquake that hit near Haiti's capital, Port-au-Prince, on January 12, killed more than 200,000 people and left more than a million others homeless.

International donors have pledged nearly $10 billion for the Western Hemisphere's poorest country, though U.N. officials say many countries have not followed through with those pledges.

Some information for this report was provided by AP.

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