News / Americas

    UN says Humanitarian Agencies Working 24/7 in Haiti

    Meredith Buel

    United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon says humanitarian agencies are working around the clock in Haiti and relief has started to flow more smoothly to the millions of people affected by the devastating earthquake. 

    Mr. Ban says aid is reaching more people in Haiti every day.
    He says the U.N. mission in the country is working flat out to help Haitians affected by the quake, which demolished the capital, Port-au-Prince, and killed an estimated 200,000 people.

    Mr. Ban says 150 health centers and hospitals are up and running.

    He says, however, there is still a desperate need for tents and shelter for the estimated one million Haitians left homeless following the quake on January 12.

    Department of Defense spokesman Geoff Morrell says the United States currently has 15,000 soldiers on ships and on the ground in Haiti and thousands more will soon be headed for the country.

    He told reporters at the Pentagon the U.S. is committed to helping the Haitian people get back on their feet after the earthquake.

    Morrell says top officials at the Pentagon and the White House are currently discussing the future role for U.S. troops in Haiti.

    "What precisely that means and how many forces are there doing what kinds of things for how long and at what kind of expense are precisely the discussions that are being had within this building and within the administration right now," said Geoff Morrell.

    In Haiti, some of the efforts to hand out food and water have turned ugly, with security forces needing to use tear gas or fire warning shots to control jostling crowds.

    Some Haitians living in ragtag encampments around Port-au-Prince have complained that relief supplies have not yet reached them.

    U.S. Army Colonel Rick Kaiser says there are now 130 trucks distributing water in the capital.

    In a conference call with reporters Kaiser says there is not a shortage of clean drinking water.

    "I just can tell you that from my trips through the city I have not seen that at all and I have seen numerous water points that have been in operation," said Colonel Kaiser. "There are no lines, quite frankly, and that is a good indicator.  If there are no lines there might not be a shortage, especially if there are a lot of people around."

    Haitians do line up for hours at the U.S. embassy in Port-au-Prince hoping to get on a military flight to the United States.

    "I came to get my family, my aunt and my cousin [out]," said one Haitian. "The house is gone and they are all victims."

    Hopes of finding people alive under the rubble are fading as each day passes and bodies are still decaying in the streets.

    "Every day the Chinese rescue workers remove bodies from houses and they put them on the side of the street," said another. "We try to remove them and bury them, but when we can't bury them they remain here and dogs eat them, pull the bodies apart.  It smells very bad."

    In a bid to jumpstart Haiti's economy, the United Nations is paying people to clear rubble and waste.

    More than 5,000 Haitians have signed up so far.

    Haitian Prime Minister Jean-Max Bellerive has returned after attending a donors meeting in Canada where he made a plea for sustained long-term assistance for his country.

    "I don't just want to rebuild only Port au Prince, but to rebuild the entire Haiti," said Jean-Max Bellerive.

    The Haitian prime minister says the funds received so far are enough to help only ten to 15 percent of Haiti's people.

    Officials estimate it will take at least 10 years to rebuild the country.  
     

    You May Like

    Escalation of Media Crackdown in Turkey Heightens Concerns

    Critics see 'a new dark age' as arrests of journalists, closures of media outlets by Erdogan government mount

    Russia Boasts of Troop Buildup on Flank, Draws Flak

    Russian military moves counter to efforts to de-escalate tensions, State Department says

    Video Iraqis Primed to March on Mosul, Foreign Minister Says

    Iraqi FM Ibrahim al-Jaafari tells VOA the campaign will meet optimistic expectations, even though US officials remain cautious

    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.
    Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Processi
    X
    Katherine Gypson
    July 27, 2016 6:21 PM
    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video A Life of Fighting Back: Hillary Clinton Shatters Glass Ceiling

    Hillary Clinton made history Thursday, overcoming personal and political setbacks to become the first woman to win the presidential nomination of a major U.S. political party. If she wins in November, she will go from “first lady” to U.S. Senator from New York, to Secretary of State, to “Madam President.” Polls show Clinton is both beloved and despised. White House Correspondent Cindy Saine takes a look at the life of the woman both supporters and detractors agree is a fighter for the ages.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video First Time Delegate’s First Day Frustrations

    With thousands of people filling the streets of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for the 2016 Democratic National Convention, VOA’s Kane Farabaugh narrowed in on one delegate as she made her first trip to a national party convention. It was a day that was anything but routine for this United States military veteran.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Calm the Waters: US Doubles Down Diplomatic Efforts in ASEAN Meetings

    The United States is redoubling diplomatic efforts and looking to upcoming regional meetings to calm the waters after an international tribunal invalidated the legal basis of Beijing's extensive claims in the South China Sea. VOA State Department correspondent Nike Ching has the story.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora

    More Americas News

    Venezuela Critics Press for Progress on Presidential Recall

    Socialist government digging in its heels to stop a presidential recall vote as it fights to hold onto power amid an economic collapse

    Brazil Prosecutor Freezes $11.7M of Facebook Funds Due to WhatsApp Case

    Facebook failed to comply with court order to supply data on users of company's messaging service who are under criminal investigation

    No Amnesty for War Rapists: Colombia Peace Talks Turn to Women's Rights

    Government, FARC rebels have pledged to improve access to land for women and ensure perpetrators of sexual violence will not be eligible for amnesty as part of ongoing peace talks

    UN Asks Brazil Authorities to Investigate Journalist's Death

    UNESCO's Director-General Irina Bokova condemns the killing of Joao Miranda do Carmo, the third reporter to die in Brazil this year

    Venezuela Food Shortages Leave Zoo Animals Hungry

    Some 50 animals have starved to death in last six months at one of main zoos, according to a union leader

    Anti-mining Politician Freed from Jail in Peru Slams Government

    Gregorio Santos, who was freed from jail Wednesday, accuses the government of locking him up for two years in order to keep him from power