Thursday, December 02, 2021

Half a million children need aid in Haiti

UNITED NATIONS -- More than half a million Haitian children were in need of humanitarian assistance after the small island country was devastated by Hurricane Matthew on October 4, UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said on Friday.

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reported that 590,000 children were reported to be in need of various types of assistance in four departments in Grand'Anse, South, Nippes, and the northwest, Dujarric said at a daily news briefing here.

OCHA said that a convoy of more than a dozen trucks with shelter and non-food items was being sent to Les Cayes and Jeremie, the hardest-hit by the hurricane, while distributions were ongoing in multiple locations around four affected departments, he said.

"Many people, including children, have lost their birth certificates, preventing access to basic services, including education," the spokesman said. "Addressing this is a priority for protection partners."

The UN Peacekeeping Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) continues to support the response to the hurricane, he said. "They are facilitating access and security by clearing roads, providing escorts and security for convoys and aid distribution."

On Thursday, a mobile UN military hospital was deployed to Beaumont, south of Jeremie, to provide medical assistance in the area, he noted.

Hurricane Matthew killed more than 1,000 people in Haiti when it struck more than two weeks ago, leaving more than 175,000 without homes, and more than a million more struggling to survive in what UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called "absolute devastation".

The UN estimates at least 1.4 million Haitians are now in need of urgent assistance as clean water, food, and medicine are in short supply, and an ongoing cholera epidemic threatens to worsen and spread after dozens of cholera treatment centers were destroyed. (PNA)

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