THE HUMANITARIAN CRISIS IN HAITI IS NOT OVER
(Haiti Libre) -
The United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian, Valerie Amos, arrived in Haiti for 48 hours to take stock of the humanitarian situation and the current response to the 12 January 2010 earthquake.
Wednesday, Ms. Amos met with Haitian President Michel Martelly. She stressed the importance of not leaving behind the most vulnerable still living in tents, who depend on humanitarian aid for their survival. She also met with the United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator in Haiti, Nigel Fisher, and senior representatives of United Nations agencies and international NGOs. They emphasized the central importance of addressing the country´s underlying structural challenges in order to transition from the humanitarian crisis phase to sustainable recovery.
Yesterday Thursday, the last day of her visit, the Secretary General met with Mariano Fernández, the head of the UN Mission for Stabilization in Haiti (Minustah). During the day she visited the Accra camp and a new sanitation center at Morne Cabri, funded by the Central Response Fund.
"...the main purpose of my visit was to make an evaluation of the humanitarian needs that are still present on the ground [...] Nearly 600,000 people are still living in IDP camps and many displaced people are experiencing an eviction situation and will be forced to leave the camps [...] I have just visited the Accra camp where there are 25,000 people and saw the difficult situations that they are experiencing. These people can stay in the Accra camp thanks to a mediation effort that was made with the landowner, but they want to leave this camp with their families because the situation is not good.
We make a proactive effort with the government to ensure that people who are in these camps have the opportunity to leave, but in a dignified manner with their families. I am very happy to see that President Martelly said with great force, that he does not agree with forced evictions.
In the Accra camp many people told me that the situation was deteriorating, especially for drinking water and sanitation due to the departure of NGOs because they had no more money [...] The women told me that they have many problems with security and also with the violence that continues to occur in the camp.
I also visited a plant for the treatment of excreta and wastewater at Morne Cabri and that is the only facility of its kind that exists in Haiti. We need this type of facility, if we want to win the fight against cholera. The absence of this type of installation [...] will prevent us from completely eradicating this epidemic.
It is clear that there are always needs in Haiti in terms of drinking water, sanitation, food [...] the humanitarian crisis in Haiti is not over. Although significant efforts are underway to put the country on the road to recovery, humanitarian needs remain high and it is necessary to answer them [...] We have seen great generosity towards Haiti in the last two years..."