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UN continues to provide emergency aid in Haiti

Xinhua | Updated: 2024-04-02 09:07
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People gather to buy gasoline at a petrol station as violence spreads and armed gangs expand their control over the capital, in Port-au-Prince, Haiti March 29, 2024. [Photo/Agencies]

UNITED NATIONS - The United Nations and its partners continue to work against the odds to provide daily emergency assistance to people impacted by violence in the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince, said a UN spokesman on Monday.

On Saturday alone, the World Food Programme (WFP) was able to provide more than 28,000 meals to people who have been forced to flee their homes due to the violence, said Stephane Dujarric, spokesman for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

Despite widespread insecurity, the WFP reports that it has delivered food assistance to some 480,000 men, women and children across the country since the beginning of March. These efforts are possible thanks to partners on the ground, including Haitian nongovernmental organizations, local businesses and Haitian farmers' organizations, he said.

In Port-au-Prince, the agency has distributed more than 358,000 hot meals to more than 69,000 people in 48 displacement sites in the past month, he said.

Over the past month, UN humanitarian partners have delivered more than 2.3 million liters of drinking water to nearly 29 displacement sites, which has benefited some 60,000 displaced people. Health partners have also delivered medicine and provided psychosocial support to traumatized people, said the spokesman.

Haiti's health sector has been severely affected by the violence over the past month, with at least half of the health facilities in the capital either closed or functioning below normal capacity, he noted.

"The ongoing insecurity in Haiti has worsened the already dire humanitarian situation. Across the country, more than 360,000 people are currently displaced, some 160,000 of whom are in the Port-au-Prince metropolitan area. More than 1,000 schools have been closed across the country."

Meanwhile, the humanitarian needs and response plan for Haiti continues to be severely underfunded. Less than 7 percent of the 674 million US dollars required has been received.

On the deployment of a multinational force in Haiti, Dujarric said the world body is frustrated at the slow pace.

"We're frustrated at the amount of time that it's taken. We're frustrated at the lack of money that's in the trust fund. We know a number of countries have put themselves forward to do whatever they can to help the people of Haiti. But those countries need financial and technical support," he said. "We understand some is moving forward. But the longer it takes to deploy such a force, the more the people of Haiti are suffering."

The UN Security Council adopted a resolution in October 2023 to authorize a multinational police force for Haiti. The resolution decides that the cost of implementing this temporary operation will be borne by voluntary contributions and support from individual UN member states and regional organizations.

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