News / Americas

UN: Crucial to House Homeless in Haiti Before Rains Begin

The International Organization for Migration estimates more than one million earthquake victims in Haiti are in acute need of emergency shelter.

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

International aid agencies say it is absolutely crucial to provide shelter for hundreds of thousands of people in Haiti made homeless by the earthquake before the rainy and hurricane season begins in April.  The International Organization for Migration, which is leading this effort, says aid agencies are looking for sites where camps for internally displaced people can be set up. 

The International Organization for Migration estimates more than one million earthquake victims in Haiti are in acute need of emergency shelter.  It says the vast majority of them are in the capital.

IOM says it is in the process of finalizing the first organized settlement for some 3,500 displaced people in the Port-au-Prince neighborhood of Tabarre.

The agency agrees this first camp is inadequate for the immense needs.  But, notes it is a start.  IOM spokesman, Jean-Philippe Chauzy, says aid agencies are under pressure to speed up their shelter operation before the rainy and hurricane seasons begin in a few months. 

He says there are not enough tents in the country.  So, until they arrive, IOM and its partners are distributing tarpaulins and plastic sheets to improve shelter conditions for those made homeless by the earthquake.

"Tents are the first response, but they are not a panacea," said Chauzy. "Far from it, because we all know that with the rainy season, the hurricane season, we need also to think of temporary shelters, of permanent solid shelters." 

"So, we are, at the moment, obviously, doing our best to provide as many tents, plastic sheeting as we can because there is a  need.  But, at the same time, we have got a strategy basically to develop more permanent shelters," he added. 

Chauzy describes this as a very complex operation.  He says appropriate sites have to be identified for establishing a camp before the tents and other temporary shelters can be erected.

He says this immediately poses a big problem because of the scarcity of open spaces in and near Port-au-Prince, which are buried under rubble.

Once a site is located, he says the ground has to be leveled, electricity, water and sanitation systems have to be installed and other basic infrastructure must be put in place.

IOM spokesman Chauzy says aid agencies do not want to construct massive tent cities housing 100,000 or more people.  He says the intention is to set up many smaller camps - each to provide shelter for a maximum of 10,000 internally displaced people.

You May Like

Video Obama to Send 3,000 Troops to Liberia in Ebola Fight

At Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, President says US will take leadership role for a global response to deadly Ebola virus that is ravaging West Africa More

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

Muslims in Kunming say that they condemn the violence, it is not a reflection of the true beliefs of their faith More

Humanitarian Aid, Equipment Blocked in Cameroon

Move is seen as a developing supply crisis in West Africa 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.
NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Spacei
X
September 17, 2014 4:20 AM
The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.
Video

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

China says its has sentenced three men to death and one woman to life in prison for a deadly knife attack in March that left more than 30 dead and 140 injured. Beijing says Muslim militants from China's restive western region of Xinjiang carried out the attacks. Now, more than six months after the incident, residents in the city are still coping with the aftermath. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Kunming.
Video

Video Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Community

Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.
Video

Video Washington DC Mural Artists Help Beautify City

Like many cities, Washington has a graffiti problem. Buildings and homes, especially in low-income neighborhoods, are often targets of illegal artwork. But as we hear from VOA’s Julie Taboh, officials in the nation's capital have come up with an innovative program that uses the talents of local artists to beautify the city.
Video

Video US Muslim Leaders Condemn Islamic State

Leaders of America's Muslim community are condemning the violent extremism of the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. The U.S. Muslim leaders say militants are exploiting their faith in a failed effort to justify violent extremism. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Bedouin Woman Runs Successful Business in Palestinian City

A Bedouin woman is breaking social taboos by running a successful vacation resort in the Palestinian town of Jericho. Bedouins are a sub-group of Arabs known for their semi-nomadic lifestyle. Zlatica Hoke says the resort in the West Bank's Jordan Valley is a model of success for women in the region.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid

More Americas News

Attack on Colombian Police Kills 7

Defense ministry vows to 'maintain and intensify' operations against armed groups, drug traffickers following the attack
More

Chronically Hungry Numbers Decline

Three U.N. agencies have released the State of Food Security in the World report
More

UN: Enforced Disappearances Continue Unabated Globally

UN Working Group on Enforced Disappearances says more than 43,000 cases from 88 countries still remain to be clarified
More

Hurricane Odile Weakens, Still a Threat to Mexico

Odile could drench Baja California with as much as 46 centimeters of rain by Friday
More

Powerful Hurricane Threatens Mexico's Baja California

US forecasters have downgraded Odile to strong Category 3 storm, with top sustained winds of 205 kilometers per hour
More

Hard-hitting Films Tackle Homelessness at Toronto Festival

'Time Out of Mind,' 'Shelter,' and 'Heaven Knows What' all focus on characters struggling with homelessness, addiction on the streets of New York
More