News / Americas

UN: Significant Progress in Providing Aid to Quake Victims in Haiti

The United Nations is scaling up relief operation on all levels, with shelter topping the list of priorities, according to one official.

A camp of makeshift tents sprawls at Port-au-Prince's golf course, where many Haitians displaced by the earthquake have set up shelter, 25 Jan 2010
A camp of makeshift tents sprawls at Port-au-Prince's golf course, where many Haitians displaced by the earthquake have set up shelter, 25 Jan 2010

Multimedia

Audio

The United Nations reports significant progress has been made in providing assistance to hundreds of thousands of quake victims in Haiti.  A senior U.N. official says the relief operation is being scaled up on all levels, with shelter topping the list of priorities.  

The United Nations says things may be improving, but the crisis in earthquake-devastated Haiti is far from over.  U.N. officials report nearly one-half million people have left the capital Port-au-Prince for outlying areas.  They say 90 percent of these people are staying with host families who are in need of assistance.

U.N. Undersecretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs John Holmes calls Haiti a particularly difficult and complicated operation.  He says he understands the frustration of aid workers who are not able to quickly reach the survivors with desperately needed assistance.

"What I think we can see now is that we are beginning to make really significant progress in doing that, particularly on the food side, but, in some other areas as well," Holmes said. "So, the scaling up is happening significantly now ...  But, we still have a significant way to go before we reach everybody with the aid that they need."  

Holmes says health care for the injured and sick is getting better, although it still is not good.  He notes most life-saving operations have taken place.  But vital drugs are still lacking, and there need to be more surveillance systems to monitor the outbreak of epidemics.

He says most people are receiving water, but sanitation must be improved and 7,000 latrines must be built in Port-au-Prince.  He says more people are receiving food and the World Food Program aims to reach two million people in the next 10 days.

"The number of people being reached with the basic food they need, rice and ready-to-eat meals where appropriate is scaling up in the way we all want to see," Holmes said. "That is an operation that is being conducted on the basis of coupons and so it can be more easily targeted than the very quick and dirty distributions, if I call it that way, which were being used in the first couple of weeks.  So, I think there is good progress being made there."  

Holmes says tens of thousands of people will need tents, plastic sheets and tarpaulins before the rainy and hurricane seasons start in a few months.  He says there are not many tents in Haiti, but 50,000 tents are in the pipeline and are expected to arrive shortly. 

"I think there was a desire to avoid creating large camps, which have a tendency to become permanent over time rather than temporary," Holmes said. "There is a problem of space for large camps, certainly in the immediate vicinity of Port-au-Prince.  Therefore, it was also clear to people looking at this that people did not want to go away from Port-au-Prince into large camps.  They wanted to stay close to their homes."  

U.N. humanitarian chief Holmes says many of the quake survivors are still in the rubble of their own homes because they want to be close to where they used to live and work. 

You May Like

Philippines, Muslim Rebels Try to Salvage Peace Pact

Peace process faces major setback after botched military operation to find terrorists results in bloody gunbattle between government forces, Moro Islamic Liberation Front fighters More

Republicans Expect Long, Expensive Presidential Battle

Political strategist says eventual winner will be one who can put together strongest coalition of various conservative groups that make up Republican Party More

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Engineers have come up with a lever-operated design that makes use of easily accessible bicycle technology 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.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

More Americas News

US, Cuba Teams Discuss Telecommunications Issues

US delegation visited Cuba this week as the two nations continued efforts to restore diplomatic relations broken over 50 years ago
More

Egyptian Court Adjourns Trial of Al Jazeera Journalists to April 22

Two journalists are charged with aiding a terrorist organization, a reference to the Muslim Brotherhood, which Egypt banned following 2013 army takeover
More

Rio Exhibition Dramatizes Olympian Bay Cleanup Task

Display highlights problem of trash in Guanabara Bay, where sailing, windsurfing events are to take place in next Summer Games
More

Chile Says Drought Permanent, Lays Out Water Plan

President Michelle Bachelet says government will invest in desalinization plants and reservoirs to ensure access to potable water
More

Poll: Venezuelan Leader's Popularity Inches Up to 25%

Rise comes after United States declared Venezuela a security threat and ordered sanctions against seven officials
More

High Winds, Drought Feed Chilean Forest Fires

Blazes have ravaged swaths of China Muerta and Nalca Lolco reserves and Conguillio national park, revered for its ancient forests
More