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

At Khmer Rouge Court, Long-Awaited Verdict Approaches

First phase of trial, which is coming to an end, has focused on forced exodus of Phnom Penh in 1975 - and now many are hopeful justice will be served More

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities More

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

Downing of Malaysian airliner, allegations of cross-border shelling move information war in war-torn country to a new level 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.
Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
July 31, 2014 8:13 PM
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 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 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 Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelter

Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Rapid Spread of Ebola in West Africa Prompts Global Alert

Across West Africa, health officials are struggling to keep up with what the World Health Organization describes as the worst ebola outbreak on record. The virus has killed hundreds of people this year. U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders are watching the developments closely as they weigh what actions, if any, are needed to help contain the disease.
Video

Video Michelle Obama: Young Africans Need to Embrace Women's Rights

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama urged some of Africa's best and brightest to advocate for women's rights in their home countries. As VOA's Pam Dockins explains, Obama spoke to some 500 participants of the Young African Leaders Initiative, a six-week U.S.-based training and development program.
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.
Video

Video Study: Latino Students Most Segregated in California

Even though legal school segregation ended in the United States 60 years ago, one study finds segregation still occurs in the U.S. based on income and race. The University of California Los Angeles Civil Rights Project finds that students in California are more segregated by race than ever before, especially Latinos. Elizabeth Lee reports for VOA from Los Angeles.

AppleAndroid

More Americas News

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

Argentina, US Creditors Fail to Reach Deal; Default Imminent

This will mark the second time in 13 years Argentina has defaulted on its debt
More

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Officials grapple with ways to deal with problem, provide shelter for thousands of minors among illegal border crossers
More