UN says food warehouses in Haiti have been ‘looted’

2010-01-15 14:00

The United Nations’ food stockpiles in Haiti have been looted, an

official said today.

The World Food Programme’s (WFP’s) warehouses, which were in place

prior to the earthquake, were raided, spokeswoman Emilia Casella said.

The UN’s food organisation believes that nearly 2?million people

were already “food insecure” prior to the latest blow to Haiti, owing to

previous natural disasters and conflicts.

The WFP would aim to continue food distribution from its remaining

supplies, the spokeswoman said.

“At this point we are trying to get the food we have in our hands

to the people,” said Casella, adding that these supplies were “a drop in the

bucket”.

Meanwhile, the UN does not need any more search-and-rescue teams

and mobile hospitals.

Elizabeth Byrs, a spokeswoman for the UN Office for Co-ordination

of Humanitarian Affairs, said “so far we have enough search-and-rescue

teams”.

About 40 teams had registered through the UN centre and had been

mobilised,” Byrs said.

Field hospitals had also arrived and no additional ones were

required “at the moment”, Byrs said, even as the UN continued to report that

overcrowded medical centres in the capital, Port-au-Prince, were turning

patients away due to lack of capacity.

Aid workers have described the logistical aspect of the aid effort

as a nightmare, with communications in the country completely down.

“The priorities for the moment are medical teams, nurses, surgeons

for trauma and medicines of all sorts,” Byrs said in Geneva, Switzerland.


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