UN coordinating with Haiti on aid after deadly weekend storm

UN humanitarians said on Monday that they are coordinating with the Haitian government to determine needs following deadly rains, floods and landslides over the weekend.

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said it supports the Civil Protection General Directorate in assessing the need to coordinate the emergency response following the deaths of 42 people. The storm affected more than 37,000 people, with 19,000 forced from their homes.

The impact was worst in the west of the country, including the capital Port-au-Prince, and the southwest, OCHA said. Overall, seven of Haiti’s 10 departments were affected.

“Alongside Haitian institutions, we and our humanitarian partners are gearing up to deliver assistance, including shelter and food supplies, drinking water, and hygiene kits and facilities,” the humanitarian office said. “The extent of the damage is still being assessed. But the situation is extremely worrying, given the hurricane season has only just begun.”

Even before the landslides and flooding, half the population of Haiti needed humanitarian assistance.

“We urge donors to scale up support for the country’s humanitarian response plan,” OCHA said, adding that it has raised only 20 percent of the 720 million U.S. dollars required.

In addition to natural disasters, swaths of the Caribbean nation’s capital have been in the throes of crippling gang violence for months. ■

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