Update from Port-au-Prince, Haiti
January 31, 2010
Dr. Martina Fuchs and Michael Lear
At a meeting today with the US Army and the World Food Programme, we were updated that everyone is very aware of the precarious food and water situation. The extent of the disaster is of a magnitude that no one has ever experienced before. Today, a 2-week effort was launched by USAID and the UN to feed the nearly 2 million homeless earthquake victims. 10,000 metric tons of rice, beans and oil are coordinated per day targeting at least 1,700 families per day through 16 distribution points. Because there are no warehouses to store food, distribution efforts are coordinated with the US military to ensure security during distribution. What is important to mention and what we experienced personally, is that there is no violence. People are very peaceful, though the despair is palpable. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/8489790.stm
Brief situational update: Food and shelter remain the priorities for assistance to hundreds of thousands of people in need. Health priorities include mobile clinics for first aid, psychosocial support and post-operative care. Cases of tetanus have been reported. Suspected cases of measles were confirmed as chicken pox. The WASH Cluster is reaching almost 500,000 people a day with water. The port has been declared unsafe for incoming ships following an in-depth assessment. Port-au-Prince airport is operating at peak capacity with an average of 120 incoming flights per day. The Government reports that some 340,000 people have now left Port-au-Prince with the largest number of arrivals in Artibonite department.