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Home Publications Blogs Haiti: Relief and Reconstruction Watch Deputy UN Secretary General: "Situation Remains Dire"

Deputy UN Secretary General: "Situation Remains Dire"

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Thursday, 15 April 2010 16:57
Deputy UN Secretary General Asha-Rose Migiro, speaking to reports at the UN upon returning from a visit to Haiti said that, "Though commendable progress has been made there since Jan. 12, when the earthquake struck, the situation remains dire," reports Xinhua.

Over three months after the earthquake and with the rainy season already beginning, there is still much to be done. On April 13 Red Cross Federation spokesman Alex Wynter said that the number in need of shelter was raised from 1.3 million to 1.5 million. This means there are still some 300,000 people without shelter. Further, as OCHA noted in their most recent update only about a quarter of households have received any rope or other materials to secure their shelters, which "remains a vital gap in the response" as many thousands of shelters will need to be strengthened for the rains. The rains are often too strong for the tarps, as has been documented by video, and as reported by the International Federation of the Red Cross earlier in the week.

UNICEF released their three month review today, which sheds some light on the issue of sanitation, which remains a serious issue. UNICEF notes the original plan had called for a ratio of one latrine to every 100 residents, which would mean a minimum of 11,000 latrines. Currently only 5,578 latrines have been built. It is also important to note that the Sphere Project, a project by a group of NGOs from InterAction with input from the UN and International Committee of the Red Cross among others, has a comprehensive guidebook for standards in disaster relief. The Sphere Project handbook calls for a ratio of one latrine for every twenty residents. UNICEF's review notes that the lack of sanitation poses "serious health risks to children." As the rains pick up, it will become more and more likely that latrines will flood, raising the possibility of disease.





 

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