Haiti: 500 000 living outdoors

2010-01-21 17:02

Geneva - At least half a million people are living outdoors in improvised camps in Haiti's capital Port-au-Prince, the International Organisation for Migration said Thursday.

A spokesperson for the IOM, which had accounted for 370 000 people in improvised settlements on Wednesday, said the count of those who were homeless or staying outside their homes after last week's earthquake was climbing.

"So far some 447 improvised settlements comprising at least 500 000 people have been identified in this city alone, out of which 350 settlements have been assessed by IOM, the Haitian government and humanitarian partners," the agency said in a statement.

Many of them are living out in the open while others had cobbled together makeshift shelters, spokesperson Jemini Pandya told AFP, as aid workers continue to locate such camps in and around the capital.

The number "is growing and it doesn't include the number of people outside Port-au-Prince", she added.

The IOM, which is charge of shelter for the UN-led relief effort, said it had received more deliveries of tents on Wednesday.

"Transportation of the relief items from the airport to warehouses and then to distribution points remains a challenge with trucks and fuel still in limited supply," she added.