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Hundreds of thousands in Haiti without relief

The World Health Organization (WHO) spokesman in Haiti, Jean Luc Poncelet has told Diario Libre reporters that hundreds of thousands of people have still not been reached with emergency aid in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew, which hit the southwest of Haiti earlier this month. The United Nations estimated on Wednesday, 19 October 2016, that 200,000 people in the mountainous regions of Haiti’s southern provinces as well as the southwestern region are still seriously affected by the recent hurricane. The UN says humanitarian assistance has not been able to reach them because of the difficulties of access.

The two provinces, Grande-Anse and Sud, were devastated by the powerful category-four hurricane that affected some two million people in Haiti of whom 1.4 million need vital assistance immediately. So far official sources estimate the death toll at around 500.

The mountain areas in both departments are very difficult to access while the communities along the coastline are being supplied by sea. Reports say that even helicopter access to some areas is extremely difficult and dangerous.

According to Poncelet, 36 of the 102 hospitals and health facilities in the two departments, Grande-Anse and Sud are out of service and in several cases the condition of the establishment is unknown because they have not been able to reach the area for assessment.

On Wednesday, 19 October 2016, the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) representative in the Dominican Republic, Lorenzo Jimenez de Luis described the humanitarian aid provided by the Dominican Republic to Haiti as “colossal.” Eight days after the hurricane, President Medina authorized a 500-truck aid convoy to enter Haiti.

The Ministry of Public Works says it has reduced its staff in Haiti to 150, divided among brigades that are clearing debris and fumigating. As reported in Diario Libre, the main work being carried out by the Ministry of Public Works is focused on Les Cayes, one of the areas worst affected by Hurricane Matthew, Meanwhile, the director of Comedores Economicos, Nicolas Calderon said that food provision would end when the brigades finish their work. He said the number of food portions provided by the Dominican humanitarian aid program is higher than that offered in Haiti. He said the government has spent RD$60 million on serving cooked food and the packages of components for cooking a meal.

The comments were made after members of the Supreme Tribunal in Haiti called for acting President Jocelerme Privert’s resignation over the Dominican “invasion” of Haiti. The DR sent a contingent of soldiers to accompany the convoy of 500 trucks with food, medicines and construction materials.

Source: DR1, Lisitndiario

Oct 20, 2016

Category: DR News |

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Last updated January 16, 2017 at 11:38 AM
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