The United Nations Under-Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, John Holmes, today completed a two-day visit to Haiti. The main purpose of his visit was to review progress in addressing the overall humanitarian situation in the country, as well as in responding to the needs arising from the hurricanes and tropical storms that recently struck Haiti; and finally to appeal for more and faster assistance. Discussions on disaster preparedness are also top on the agenda of his visit.
On 23 October, Mr. Holmes met with the country's leaders including the Prime Minister Michele Pierre-Louis, representatives of the United Nations Stabilisation Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH), of UN agencies and of non-governmental organisations working in Haiti. Today 24 October, Mr. Holmes visited the city of Gonaives, one of the areas worst affected by the storms. The visit concluded with a meeting with President Rene Preval.
Update on relief efforts:
Health: As of 24 October, no health epidemic has been identified. On 22 October, WHO organized the distribution of 30,000 mosquito nets in Gonaives purchased for women by IOM. UNFPA has recruited a pool of health care professionals to provide health care for women in Port de Paix and Gonaives. UNFPA is distributing 15 safe delivery kits to 5 maternity units. Nutrition: In Gonaives, MDM reports a 22.6% increase of cases of moderate malnutrition amongst children between 5 and 59 months of those that were brought for consultations to their mobile clinics over a one-week period. A nutrition survey began on 22 October and will last for 10 days in collaboration with ACF and PSF and with financial support from UNICEF.
Agriculture: The FAO has distributed seeds to farmers in Gonaives and has submitted funding proposals to rehabilitate irrigation systems and provide agricultural inputs.
Food: WFP has distributed over one million food rations to 566,119 direct beneficiaries affected by the disaster in nine departments of the country. WFP continues to airlift food commodities with its three helicopters to beneficiaries in locations inaccessible by road.
Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH): The WASH Cluster in Gonaives has identified as a priority the expansion of water distribution activities into new areas. As a result, they have increased activities, to try to deliver 10 l/p/day to 100,000 people.
Education: The target date for the start of the official school year in Gonaives is 10 November. Education materials and furniture are required for schools serving as shelters.
Shelter and Non-Food Items: The
Emergency Shelter Cluster website has been launched: http://groups.google.com/group/emergency-shelter-haiti
Invitations to access the website are to be requested by e-mail to the Shelter Cluster Coordination Team: firstname.lastname@example.org
Early Recovery: The clean-up programme managed by the Mayor's office started on 23 October and is focusing on Gonaives city centre. Twenty-five thousand people are now employed in cash-for-work programmes in Gonaives, 10,000 on the clean-up operations and 15,000 on anti-erosion watershed management activities.
- UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
- To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.