News / Americas

Long Recovery Predicted for Earthquake-Devastated Haiti

Lisa Schlein

Six months after Haiti was devastated by a 7.0 magnitude earthquake, leading U.N. aid agencies report progress is being made in caring for the basic needs of survivors.  But, the agencies say long-term recovery and reconstruction will take seven to 10 years.  

The Haitian government estimates more than 220,000 people were killed and 300,000 injured by the quake.  More than two million people were displaced from their homes.  

The United Nations reports six months after the disaster struck, about 1.5 million remain homeless and continue to live in overcrowded squalid camps.  More than half of the inhabitants are children.

The U.N. Children's Fund says it has immunized more than 275,000 children against preventable killer diseases, is providing special nutritional food to more than one-half million children under five and lactating women and some 2,000 children with severe acute malnutrition are receiving life-saving therapeutic feeding and care.  

UNICEF spokesman, Jeremy Hartley, says children continue to face extreme threats, but the massive humanitarian operation in Haiti has averted even greater catastrophe.

"Children continue to face threats to their safety and survival, but there has not been the malnutrition crisis that we had expected and there was no massive population movement into the Dominican Republic," said Jeremy Hartley.

The World Health Organization reports health services are available to 90 percent of the internally displaced people in and around the Haitian capital, Port-au-Prince.

It says this constitutes a major shift from before the earthquake struck when only 56 percent of the Haitian population had access to health care.  The WHO says it has succeeded in staving off major outbreaks of communicable diseases.

Despite these and other successes, huge problems exist.  U.N. Environment Program Haiti manager Andrew Morton says the situation in the country was problematic before the earthquake struck and now it is worse.

"We have large-scale garbage problems in the streets, sewage is going to the rivers, the reconstruction and temporary shelters are causing a great deal of accelerated deforestation and the large number of rural displaced, people displaced into the countryside, are also placing pressure on the farms and the resources there," said Andrew Morton. "The charcoal economy is, for example, rebounding."

Now that the emergency phase of the operation is over, aid agencies are focusing on long-term reconstruction and recovery.  But, before those efforts get into full swing, the agencies say they are preparing to help Haitians who might suffer damage and losses during the hurricane season.

For example, the World Food Program reports it is placing food in strategic locations around the country.

The United Nations has received 60 percent of the $1.6 billion appeal it launched earlier this year.  In addition, governments have pledged $5 billion in bi-lateral aid.  But, aid agencies say most of those pledges have not yet been met.

You May Like

Sydney Hostage-taker Failed to Manipulate Social Media

Gunman forced captives to use personal Facebook, YouTube accounts to issue his demands; online community helped flag messages, urged others not to share them More

UN Seeks $8.4 Billion to Help War-Hit Syrians

Effort aimed at helping Syrians displaced within their own country and those who've fled to neighboring ones More

Who Are the Pakistani Taliban?

It's an umbrella group of militant organizations whose objective is enforcement of Sharia in Pakistan 'whether through peace or war' More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?i
X
Ayesha Tanzeem
December 17, 2014 11:54 AM
The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?

The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video Turkey's Authoritarianism Dismays Western Allies

The Turkish government has been defiant in the face of criticism at home and abroad for its raids targeting opposition media. The European Union on Monday expressed dismay after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan lashed out at Brussels for criticizing his government's action. Turkey's bid to be considered for EU membership has been on hold while critics accuse the NATO ally of increasingly authoritarian rule. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video US-China Year in Review: Hong Kong to Climate Change

The United States is pushing for a code of conduct to resolve territorial disputes in the South China Sea as it works to improve commercial ties with Beijing. VOA State Department correspondent Scott Stearns reports on a year of U.S. policy toward China from Hong Kong to climate change.
Video

Video Japanese Leader’s Election Win Raises Potential for Conflict with Neighbors

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his allies easily won a two-thirds majority in parliament Sunday, even though the country has slipped into recession under his conservative policies. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Seoul, that the prime minister’s victory will empower him to continue economic reforms but also pursue a nationalist agenda that will likely increase tensions with Japan’s neighbors.
Video

Video Nuba Mountain Families Hide in Caves to Escape Aerial Bombings

Despite ongoing peace talks between Sudan's government and the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North, or SPLM-N, daily aerial attacks continue in South Kordofan province’s Nuba Mountains. Adam Bailes was there and reports for VOA that government forces are targeting civilian areas, rather than military positions, with their daily bombardments.

All About America

AppleAndroid

More Americas News

Vatican Mediation in US-Cuba Relations Applauded

Statement confirmed that Vatican diplomats facilitated talks between two countries, 'resulting in solutions acceptable to both parties'
More

Latin America Welcomes Obama's Move to Restore US-Cuba Ties

Regional leaders say initiative would further ease ideological battle that has divided Americas for decades
More

Video  US to Continue Push for Democracy, Rights in Cuba

A White House statement said although past US policy toward Cuba is 'rooted in the best of intentions, it has had little effect'
More

US-Cuba Move Ends Decades of Island's Isolation

Cuban revolution, outreach to Soviets set off years of antipathy between Washington, Havana
More

Colombia's FARC Rebels Declare Conditional Unlimited Ceasefire

Group says it is also demanding high-profile certification of its ceasefire through the UN, Red Cross or regional intergovernmental organization
More

American Lawmakers, Others Split on US-Cuba Moves

Some praise approach; Florida Senator Rubio denounces ‘victory for oppressive Cuban government’
More