Haiti 2010 Earthquake Response

Archive for the tag “Haiti”

Haiti’s new peril: hurricane season

Haiti after Hurricane Ike (Radio Nederland Wereldomroep)

June 1 was the start of the Atlantic hurricane season, and experts at NOAA are predicting three to seven major hurricanes.  But, nearly five months after the January 12 earthquake, hundreds of thousands of Haitians are living in fraying tents while the Haitian government continues to work on emergency and evacuation plans.

Dr. Jean Pape, one of the country’s most prominent public health experts, estimates that only 1 percent of the masses stuck in dangerous flood zones have been relocated. – CBS News

According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), “the biggest challenge” in building shelters is “a lack of available land on which to build.”  Much of the land suitable for relocation has been in the hands of a few powerful individuals.  But, that problem reportedly was resolved in late March.  During a visit to Haiti, former U.S. President Bill Clinton told the Miami Herald that Haiti’s President, René Préval, had signed an executive order giving the government the right of eminent domain.

Still, OCHA reports that obtaining needed land and receiving necessary supplies will take “many more months.”  At this point, one is tempted to add…”if ever.”

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People of Haiti left out of recovery planning process

One would expect that the United States, which proclaims itself a friend of democracy everywhere, would insist that the world community give the Haitian people a voice in the development of post-earthquake recovery plans.  Instead, the planning process has been exclusive, with input confined to a handful of wealthy and powerful Haitians and international aid organizations. Read more…

Haitian experience a study in disaster resilience

In an op-ed for the Miami Herald, Vinod Thomas, Director-General of the World Bank’s Independent Evaluation Group, offers life-saving advice to other nations:  Make critical installations and relief networks disaster -resistant.

In Haiti, Chile and elsewhere before, potable water could not be provided to victims in reasonable time, and emergency medical facilities dropped off-line just when needed most. The ability to take early action in critical care also has a cascading impact on the whole recovery process. Had basic connectivity to emergency medical care and water, for example, continued in Haiti and Chile (or in other previous catastrophes), reconstruction would have been that much easier. Read more…

President Obama meets with President Rene Preval

In a press conference at the White House today, U.S. President Barack Obama and Haiti’s president, Rene Preval, thanked the volunteers, troops and donors who responded to the January 12 earthquake.  But, more needs to be done, said Obama, to prevent a second disaster in the form of spring rains that threaten Haiti’s 1.3 million homeless.

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Preval says death toll could reach 300,000

Above:  Workers removing rubble from the streets of Martissant, a suburb of Port-au-Prince very near to the epicenter of the earthquake. Photo by Adam Rogers/ UNDP (at Flickr)

At an international aid meeting in Mexico, Haiti’s president, Rene Preval, said there could be another 100,000 dead still buried in the rubble.  Added to the 200,000 bodies that Haiti’s government says it picked up on the streets, that means the total death toll from the January 12 earthquake could be 300,000.

Meanwhile, “a 16-member commission in Haiti’s senate has been debating the effectiveness of Preval’s government,” reports UPI, and should release it conclusions on Tuesday.

Hospitals in Haiti charge patients for donated medicine

Currently, Haiti has about 90 public, private hospitals and field hospitals.  They depend on the United Nations for supplies of medicine, which it provides without charge.  But, about a dozen of the hospitals are charging patients for donated medicine, and care. Read more…

Explanations change, but red tape endures

Just when it seemed that the last obstacle to medical evacuations had cleared, a new obstacle has emerged.  After ten Americans were arrested trying to take children out of Haiti, private evacuations of injured Haitian children to the U.S. for life-saving care have again slowed to a crawl.  Without certain paperwork in hand, “Aid workers, doctors and government officials are worried about being accused of kidnapping,” reports the New York Times.  American Customs officials reportedly have failed to give pilots required forms prior to take off. Read more…

Haiti in desperate need of physical therapists

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Donation drive today at Haiti’s embassy in DC

Today, at the Haitian embassy, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., the National Organization for the Advancement of Haitians will be collecting donations of items for survival kits that will be distributed to the earthquake survivors in Haiti.  The embassy is located at 2311 Massachussetts Avenue, NW.  (Map and directions here).

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