Haiti crisis still reeling, says UN

2011-09-30 08:47

Port-au-Prince - The United Nations aid chief called for continued humanitarian assistance to Haiti on Thursday, stressing the crisis in a country still reeling from last year's monster earthquake.

Visiting the country during a two-day evaluation mission, Valerie Amos said the 600 000 people still living in camps have urgent needs for basic food, water, sanitation and housing services.

"I visited camps and saw for myself the difficult conditions. I was told about significant deterioration of hygiene and sanitation since the departure of many NGOs witch have run out of money," Amos told reporters.

The humanitarian situation has been further aggravated by a cholera epidemic, food insecurity for 4.5 million people and an active hurricane season that has already destroyed homes and crops.

"It's clear that here in Haiti there are still significant unmet needs in water and sanitation, food insecurity persists and of course this is a country which is vulnerable to further outbreaks of cholera and to recurring natural disasters," Amos said.

She warned that while Haiti has made progress since the January 2010 earthquake that levelled the capital, killed more than 225 000 people and left one in seven homeless, "much more needs to be done". An ensuing cholera epidemic left over 5 000 people dead.

"As the focus now moves on to the longer term sustainable development of Haiti, we also need to remember those still in humanitarian need," the relief chief added, adding that she was concerned about the situation of women exposed to violence and insecurity.

Amos met with Haitian President Michel Martelly and held talks with the heads of groups working on the ground.

She noted that Martelly has publicly expressed disapproval for forced evictions of people living in camps while waiting to find solution to relocate the homeless.

  • daaivark - 2011-09-30 09:27

    STUPID HEADLINE WRITER!!! It's not the crisis that's reeling, it's the country. If the crisis were reeling the problem would be at an end. That's the loigical aspect. But if your writers have a problem with logic, all they need to do is read the 1st paragraph.

      Cuba12 - 2011-09-30 10:32

      And to carry on the theme of cock-ups by News24 top of the range journalists, here is a quote from the above article: "...departure of many NGOs witch have run out of money," Amos told reporters." A classic case of "which witch is which" I think.

  • Honestly - 2011-09-30 11:01

    Can Haiti do nothing for itself? More than a year after the earthquakes and they still have a crisis. Useless f@@ckers. Let them suffer

      daaivark - 2011-09-30 11:07

      Honestly, what do you know about Haiti, if anything? You seem to forget that the earthquakes were merely the last events in a several decades of extreme hardship in that country. Decades of political turmoil under ruthless dictatorship that radically impoverished the nation, svsere flooding. No financial reserves thanks to the corruption of the ousted dictator. How would you deal with the situation where people had been reduced to trying to subsist on "mudcakes". Heartless and thoughtless f@@cker s like you really devalue the human race.

      Libertador - 2011-09-30 11:19

      Haiti's problems were in part created by the French, who virtually made the country destitute for decades: The appalling state of the country is a direct result of French greed and amorality. France gained the western third of the island of Hispaniola -- the territory that is now Haiti -- in 1697. It planted sugar and coffee, supported by an unprecedented increase in the importation of African slaves. Economically, the result was a success, but life as a slave was intolerable. Living conditions were squalid, disease was rife, and beatings and abuses were universal. The slaves’ life expectancy was 21 years. After a dramatic slave uprising that shook the western world, and 12 years of war, Haiti finally defeated Napoleon’s forces in 1804 and declared independence. But France demanded reparations: 150m francs, in gold.

      Libertador - 2011-09-30 11:20

      For Haiti, this debt did not signify the beginning of freedom, but the end of hope. Even after it was reduced to 60m francs in the 1830s, it was still far more than the war-ravaged country could afford. Haiti was the only country in which the ex-slaves themselves were expected to pay a foreign government for their liberty. By 1900, it was spending 80% of its national budget on repayments. In order to manage the original reparations, further loans were taken out -- mostly from the United States, Germany and France. Instead of developing its potential, this deformed state produced a parade of nefarious leaders, most of whom gave up the insurmountable task of trying to fix the country and looted it instead. In 1947, Haiti finally paid off the original reparations, plus interest. Doing so left it destitute, corrupt, disastrously lacking in investment and politically volatile. Haiti was trapped in a downward spiral, from which it is still impossible to escape. It remains hopelessly in debt to this day.

      OnlyaGinger - 2011-09-30 11:24

      honestly- you are a unfortunate fool - what an insenstive moron you are- if you had any real historical or political knowledge about Haiti i would fall off my chair, you sir are whats wrong with this world.

      Libertador - 2011-09-30 11:27

      What an ignorant, stupid, excuse of a comment...One can well imagine the plight of dimwits who easily falter in the heat of the moment. Friedrich Schiller of Germany: Mit der Dummheit kämpfen Götter selbst vergebens. — ("With stupidity even the gods struggle in vain.")

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