News / Americas

Looting Continues in Haiti as Residents Leave Capital in Search of Food



U.S. troops patrolled the streets of Port-au-Prince on Monday in an attempt to drive away looters who were breaking into shops and buildings to grab whatever they could find. Some people have begun fleeing the capital for the countryside in search of food and better shelter.

At times on Monday, Haitian police fired shots into the air to disperse large roving bands of scavenging looters as they swarmed across the capital.

Nearly a week has passed since Haiti was rocked by last Tuesday's massive 7.0-magnitude earthquake, in which 200,000 people are believed to have been killed.  Delays in the delivery of supplies to hundreds of thousands desperate for aid is stoking unrest.

Transportation bottlenecks, bureaucratic confusion, fear of attacks on aid convoys and the collapse of local authority is also making it difficult for help to reach quake victims.

On Monday, hundreds of people lined up outside the American and Canadian embassies in hopes of getting a visa to leave the country.

Others struggled to board buses and leave the capital.

Livena Livel, a 22-year-old mother was heading out of town to her father's home - a four-hour drive from Port-au-Prince.

Livel says that she and her one-year-old daughter, along with six other relatives, have scraped together their last money to pay for the trip.

The $8 one-way ticket, amounts to about three days income for most Haitians.

The U.S. military sent more troops to Haiti on Monday to help with security and the distribution of food and water.

General Ken Keen, who is commanding U.S. military relief operations in Haiti, says logistical obstacles to aid delivery are being overcome.

"Every day, we increase our capabilities to reach out [to Haitians in need]," he said.

U.S. helicopters are at work in Haiti, ferrying food and water to distribution points in and around the devastated capital, where three-million people struggle to survive.

General Keen says U.S. troops are working to assume more responsibility for aid distribution, which will allow U.N. peacekeepers in Haiti to focus on security concerns.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has asked the Security Council to boost the U.N. stabilization mission in Haiti by 3,500 troops and police officers, who would join 9,000 security personnel already there.

Alain Le Roy, the U.N.'s peacekeeping chief - Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations - says that it is important that aid convoys reach those in need quickly.

"Of course there are incidents here and there, sporadic incidents here and there, mostly due to frustration for not getting food and water quickly enough," he said.  "And, it's very important that the humanitarian convoys can reach very rapidly the people otherwise we will have security problems."

World leaders have promised massive amounts of assistance to rebuild the capital and international aid pledges for Haiti continue to grow.

The European Union offered more than $500 million in assistance and hundreds of millions more have been pledged by the United States and other nations.

Last week's earthquake damaged Port-au-Prince's airport and seaport.  U.S. military officials say a rescue and salvage vessel arrived Monday that will be used to send down divers to assess what may be blocking channels in the port as well as possible places to unload cargo.

You May Like

Germany Celebrates 25 Years of Unity

October 3 is a public holiday, marking the day in 1990 when East Germany and West Germany reunited More

Analysts: Russia's Syria Strikes Shake Regional Powers

If Moscow bolsters Assad, Saudi Arabia, other Gulf countries may feel obliged to step in More

Video Innovative Nano-Tech Water Filter Prevents Disease

It can absorb contaminants like copper, bacteria, viruses and pesticides, says Askwar Hilonga, who has been successfully trying out his product in Arusha More

This forum has been closed.
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.
Russia’s Syria Involvement Raising Concerns in Europei
Luis Ramirez
October 02, 2015 4:45 PM
European nations are joining the United States in demanding that Russia stop targeting opposition groups other than the Islamic State militants as Russian warplanes continue to conduct raids in Syria. The demand came in a statement from Britain, France, Germany, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United States Friday. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.

Video Russia’s Syria Involvement Raising Concerns in Europe

European nations are joining the United States in demanding that Russia stop targeting opposition groups other than the Islamic State militants as Russian warplanes continue to conduct raids in Syria. The demand came in a statement from Britain, France, Germany, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United States Friday. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.

Video First Self-Driving Truck Debuts on European Highways

The first automated semi-trailer truck started its maiden voyage Friday, Oct. 2, on a European highway. The Daimler truck called 'Actros' is the first potentially mass-produced truck whose driver will be required only to monitor the situation, similar to the role of an airline captain while the plane is in autopilot mode. VOA’s George Putic reports.

Video Nano-tech Filter Cleans Dirty Water

Access to clean water is a problem for hundreds of millions of people around the world. Now, a scientist and chemical engineer in Tanzania (in East Africa) is working to change that by creating an innovative water filter that makes dirty water safe. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.

Video Demand Rising for Organic Produce in Cambodia

In Cambodia, where rice has long been the main cash crop, farmers are being encouraged to turn to vegetables to satisfy the growing demand for locally produced organic farm products. Daniel de Carteret has more from Phnom Penh.

Video Migrant Influx Costs Europe, But Economy Could Benefit

The influx of hundreds of thousands of refugees and migrants is testing Europe’s ability to respond – especially in the poorer Balkan states. But some analysts argue that Europe will benefit by welcoming the huge numbers of young people – many of them well educated and willing to work. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

Video Botanists Grow Furniture, with Pruning Shears

For something a bit out of the ordinary to furnish your home, why not consider wooden chairs, crafted by nature, with a little help from some British botanists with an eye for design. VOA’s Jessica Berman reports.

Video New Fabric Helps Fight Dust-Related Allergies

Many people around the world suffer from dust-related allergies, caused mainly by tiny mites that live in bed linen. Polish scientists report they have successfully tested a fabric that is impenetrable to the microscopic creatures. VOA’s George Putic has more.

Video Burkina Faso's Economy Deeply Affected by Political Turmoil

Political turmoil in Burkina Faso over the past year has taken a toll on the economy. The transitional government is reporting nearly $70 million in losses in the ten days that followed a short-lived coup by members of the presidential guard earlier this month. The crisis shut businesses and workers went on strike. With elections on the horizon, Emilie Iob reports on what a return to political stability can do for the country's economic recovery.

Video Fleeing Violence, Some Syrians Find Refuge in Irbil

As Syrians continue to flee their country’s unrest to seek new lives in safer places, VOA Persian Service reporter Shepol Abbassi visited Irbil, where a number Syrians have taken refuge. During the religious holidy of Eid al-Adha, the city largely shut down, as temperatures soared. Amy Katz narrates his report.

Video Nigeria’s Wecyclers Work for Reusable Future in Lagos

The streets and lagoons of Africa's largest city - Lagos, Nigeria - are often clogged with trash, almost none of which gets recycled. One company is trying to change that. Chris Stein reports for VOA from Lagos.

Video Sketch Artist Helps Catch Criminals, Gives a Face to Deceased

Police often face the problem of trying to find a crime suspect based on general descriptions that could fit hundreds of people in the vicinity of the crime. In these cases, an artist can use information from witnesses to sketch a likeness that police can show the public via newspapers and television. But, as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, such sketches can also help bring back faces of the dead.

Video Thailand Set to Build China-like Internet Firewall

Thai authorities are planning to tighten control over the Internet, creating a single international access point so they can better monitor content. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Bangkok on what is being called Thailand’s own "Great Firewall."

Video Croatian Town’s War History Evokes Empathy for Migrants

As thousands of Afghanistan, Iraqi and Syrian migrants pass through Croatia, locals are reminded of their own experiences with war and refugees in the 1990s. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from the town of Vukovar, where wartime scars still are visible today.

Video Long Drought Affecting California’s Sequoias

California is suffering under a historic four-year drought and scientists say even the state's famed sequoia trees are feeling the pain. The National Park Service has started detailed research to see how it can help the oldest living things on earth survive. VOA’s George Putic reports.

VOA Blogs

More Americas News

Guatemala Mudslide Death Toll Rises to 86

Death toll is expected to continue to rise as emergency crews dig through tons of earth for an estimated 350 people still missing

Rescuers Hunt for Hundreds Missing in Guatemalan Landslide

Death toll from Thursday night disaster east of capital is at 33 but is expected to rise

Life Ring From Storm-Tossed Ship Spotted

Ring seen 120 miles northeast of Crooked Island, 70 miles northeast of El Faro's last known position before it lost contact amid fury of Hurricane Joaquin

At Least 9 Dead, Hundreds Missing in Guatemala Mudslide

Heavy rains swept torrent of boulders, mud over dozens of homes Thursday night in Santa Catarina Pinula, one of worst slides to hit poor country in recent memory

Argentina Celebrates Second Satellite Launch, Technology Milestone

Following country's technology milestone President Cristina Fernandez says she wants the nation to manufacture eight more over the next 20 years

Hurricane Joaquin Batters Bahama Region, Likely to Stay at Sea

Five US coastal states have declared emergencies and announced measures in preparation for storm, should it hit America’s shoreline