News / Americas

Search for Survivors Offers Small Glimmer of Hope as Aid Trickles to Haiti

U.S. officials say a trickle of international aid is beginning to reach survivors of Haiti's massive earthquake, but impassable roads, limited airlift capability and other challenges are complicating that effort. As anger and restlessness escalate in the Hatian capital, Port-au-Prince, there were some signs of hope amid the destruction as rescue workers dug through crumbled buildings, and in some instances, freed trapped survivors.

The sound of applause rang out  as rescue workers pulled Jens Christensen, a Danish United Nations worker, alive from the ruins of the U.N. mission headquarters in Haiti. Christensen was buried alive beneath the rubble for five days.  

Dave Hutcheson, a U.S. rescue worker says Christensen appeared to be in good shape.

"It took us four hours to get to him," he said.  "We saw him, we got a visual on him in about three [hours] and we had him out in four. He wasn't trapped physically around his body. He was trapped in an area."

Christensen was one of several survivors pulled from the rubble on Sunday. His rescue from the wreckage of the U.N.'s offices in Haiti came just minutes after United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon visited the site.

Mr. Ban, on a one-day trip to offer support, says, right now, the first priority of the U.N. is to save as many lives as possible.

"The destruction, the loss of life, are just overwhelming.  Therefore, we need unprecedented international support to Haitian people," he said.

The international community is reaching out to Haiti with massive amounts of aid, but getting help to survivors is challenging.

The head of the U.S. Agency for International Development, Rajiv Shah, outlined some of the obstacles on ABC's "This Week" program.

"We are talking about 3.5-million people in need.  We are talking about a significant degradation of what was already relatively weak infrastructure [in Haiti]. No port access, roads are difficult to get around," said Shah.  "So what we are now doing is putting in place military assets.  The [U.S.] aircraft carrier arrived this week.  It has 19 helicopters, and a lot of the transport of commodities and supplies is through the helicopters."

More than a dozen aid centers have been set up in and around Port-au-Prince, and massive crowds materialize whenever shipments arrive.

In some cases, supplies have been parceled out with relative calm and order.  But confrontations between aid-seekers and security personnel have also occurred, and, in some instances, delivery helicopters have been forced to leave prematurely, or drop supplies from the air.

Coordinating the arrival of massive quantities of aid and personnel from around the world to Port-au-Prince's small and damaged international airport has also proved challenging.

U.S. President Barack Obama has tapped two of his predecessors, former Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton, to lead a private fundraising effort to assist and rebuild Haiti.

Clinton has said he will travel Monday to Port-au-Prince in his capacity as U.N. special envoy to Haiti.

In the midst of the disaster, many Haitians paused Sunday for worship in the overwhelmingly Catholic nation.

A female earthquake survivor says she is praying for herself and for her country, especially for those who are suffering and under the rubble.

Haitian authorities say tens-of-thousands of corpses have been buried in mass graves, and that the final death toll could reach 200,000.
 

You May Like

Uganda Court Annuls Anti-Gay Law

Court says law was passed in parliament without enough members present for a full quorum More

Multimedia Thailand Makes Efforts to Improve Conditions for Migrant Laborers

In Thailand, its not uncommon for parents to bring their children to work; one company, in-collaboration with other organizations, address safety concerns More

In Indonesia, Jihad Video Raises Concern

Video calls on Indonesians to join Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, ISIL 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.
In Thailand, Some Efforts to Improve Conditions For Migrant Laborersi
X
Steve Herman
August 01, 2014 6:22 PM
Thailand has been facing increasing international scrutiny as a hub of human trafficking and slave labor. Some of the kingdom’s companies are striving to improve working conditions, especially for the millions of migrant laborers from surrounding countries. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok takes a look at one initiative for children at construction sites
Video

Video In Thailand, Some Efforts to Improve Conditions For Migrant Laborers

Thailand has been facing increasing international scrutiny as a hub of human trafficking and slave labor. Some of the kingdom’s companies are striving to improve working conditions, especially for the millions of migrant laborers from surrounding countries. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok takes a look at one initiative for children at construction sites
Video

Video Public Raises its Voice on Power Plant Pollution

In the United States, proposed rules to cut pollution from the nation’s 600 coal-fired power plants are generating a heated debate. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, charged with writing and implementing the plan, has already received 300,000 written comments. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, another 1,600 people are lining up this week at EPA headquarters and at satellite offices around the country to give their testimony in person.
Video

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict in Gaza, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities. Probably the most important destination is the local bakery. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Gaza City.
Video

Video China Investigates Powerful Former Security Chief

The public in China is welcoming the Communist Party's decision to investigate one of the country's once most powerful politicians, former domestic security chief Zhou Yongkang. Analysts say the move by President Xi Jinping is not only an effort to win more support for the party, but an essential step to furthering much needed economic reforms and removing those who would stand in the way of change. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video US-Funded Program Offers Honduran Children Alternative to Illegal Immigration

President Obama and Central American leaders recently agreed to come up with a plan to address poverty and crime in the region that is fueling the surge of young migrants trying to illegally enter the United States. VOA’s Brian Padden looks at one such program in Honduras - funded in part by the United States - which gives street kids not only food and safety but a chance for a better life without, crossing the border.
Video

Video 'Fab Lab' Igniting Revolution in Kenya

The University of Nairobi’s Science and Technology Park is banking on 3-D prototyping to spark a manufacturing revolution in the country. Lenny Ruvaga has more for from Nairobi's so-called “FabLab” for VOA.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.

AppleAndroid

More Americas News

Judge Criticizes Argentina for 'Half-truths' at Hearing

US District Judge Thomas Griesa orders nation to stop making misleading public statements, 'half truths' concerning status of their debts
More

US House Passes Border Security Bill

Measure passes 223 to 189, though the Senate is not expected to consider the bill
More

Video US-Funded Program Offers Honduran Children Alternative to Illegal Immigration

Program gives street kids not only food and safety, but a chance for a better life without crossing US border
More

US Senate Kills Immigration Bill, House to Vote Friday

Earlier Thursday, Republican-led chamber abandoned plans to vote on $659 million bill that addresses influx of more than 57,000 unaccompanied Central American children
More

Argentina Defaults Again on Debt

Negotiators failed late Wednesday to reach an agreement with New York investment companies to avert the default
More

Cameroon’s Coffee Farmers Blame Government for Production Drops

Cameroon's growers, dealers and experts mourn declines in a nation that once ranked 12th in the world.
More