UN Redoubles Efforts To House Haiti’s Homeless
By Dialogo May 21, 2010The head of the UN mission in Haiti Edmond Mulet unveiled new efforts to provide secure housing to thousands of people made homeless by January's devastating earthquake. One key component of the UN plan would offer assistance to homeowners, enabling them to rehabilitate houses that might have been damaged but are still basically sound. "We're in the process of identifying houses that haven't been totally demolished to help the owners make the necessary repairs, so that they will be encouraged to return home and also provide shelter to others in need," Mulet said. January's quake left more than 1.3 million people in need of shelter and claimed as many as 300,000 lives. Five months after the quake, several hundreds of thousands of people remain camped out in tent cities and streets in the capital Port-au-Prince. "After having supplied tents to the majority of quake victims, it's now time to get on with the next phase -- providing more solid and secure homes to people now that the rainy season is here and hurricane season is on the way," Mulet said as he visited an outdoor camp that is home to some 8,000 people on the border of notorious Cite Soleil shantytown. The UN's Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) has for months been saying that people in the camps are first and foremost being given the option to return to their homes, where possible, although many are scared to do so because of the risk of another quake.