Haiti Still Needs World’s Help: UN Aid Chief
By Dialogo October 03, 2011
The United Nations aid chief called for continued humanitarian assistance to Haiti, 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 see for myself the difficult conditions. I was told about significant deterioration of hygiene and sanitation since the departure of many NGOs which 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 leveled 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.