Haiti Earthquake - UNEP/OCHA Disaster Management Teams on Standby - Update

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UPDATE: Port-Au-Prince, 14 January 2010 - Haiti continues to struggle with the tragic aftermath of the powerful earthquake that struck on Tuesday. Immediate priorities include search and rescue, medical services and supplies, clean water and sanitation, emergency shelter, food, logistics and telecommunications.

It is expected that a Flash Appeal, covering a period of six months, will be launched by the United Nations and international partners on Friday 15 January. Initial work to understand the environmental impacts of the earthquake have already started in Haiti, and once the situation on the ground permits, UNEP is ready to take an active role in leading the cross-cutting issue of environmental impacts. Based on initial observations the main environmental impact and associated impacts on human well-being are expected to be building waste management.

UNEP's Post-Conflict and Disaster Management Branch based in Geneva has extensive experience in post-disaster recovery and post-disaster waste management. Following the devastating 7,9 magnitude earthquake that struck China's western Sichuan province on 12 May 2008, UNEP sent experts to China to provide technical assistance. Through its office in Beijing, UNEP has continued to provide advice to the Chinese government on environmental management, green reconstruction, asbestos laboratories, contaminated site assessment, and national guidelines in disaster reduction and emergency response.