ERC Valerie Amos visits Haiti to assess humanitarian situation
Emergency Relief Coordinator and United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Valerie Amos started a two-day visit to Haiti today, to take stock of the humanitarian situation and assistance currently being provided to people affected by the January 2010 earthquake and the cholera epidemic.
The country is still recovering from last year’s devastating earthquake, which claimed more than 200,000 lives and left 1.5 million people homeless. Some 600,000 people internally displaced by the earthquake of 2010 are still living in nearly 900 camps.
The situation in Haiti is further compounded by a cholera epidemic that has claimed more than 6,200 lives since October last year. Poor access to water and sanitation, population density and natural hazards have hampered cholera prevention, though a coordinated response humanitarian partners, Haitian authorities and the support of donors, is yielding positive results. Food insecurity affecting 4.5 million people and an active hurricane season that has already destroyed houses and crops are also major challenges.
Today, Ms. Amos met Haitian President Michel Martelly, the United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator in Haiti, Nigel Fisher, and representatives of United Nations agencies and international NGOs. They will discussed the importance of addressing the country’s underlying structural challenges to be able to move from the humanitarian crisis phase to sustainable recovery. During her visit, Ms. Amos will also meet donors to mobilize support for the humanitarian appeal for US$ 382 million, which is only 52 per cent funded.
Tomorrow, Thursday 29 September, ERC Amos will meet with the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Haiti and Head of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH), Mr. Mariano Fernandez. During the day, Ms. Amos will visit a camp for internally displaced people in Port-au-Prince, as well as one of the many cholera treatment centres established in the city and a new sanitation site funded by the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF).