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Six Months After the Quake: Haiti Needs All the Help it Can Get

Six Months After the Quake: Haiti Needs All the Help it Can Get

Six months after a devastating earthquake killed more than 200,000 people and left 1.3 million homeless, Haiti’s lack of infrastructure and leadership continues to impede efforts to rebuild.

Basic living conditions — access to shelter, water, sanitation, and health care — have yet to be restored for many Haitians, and much of the rubble remains unmoved.

ABC World News quotes Hans van Dillen, a Doctors Without Borders coordinator in Haiti, as saying, “Access to health care has improved, even if you compare it to the situation before the earthquake.” But he goes on to say, “People are still out there and they are still at risk. I think for at least the next 10 years, Haiti needs all the help it can get to get back on its feet again.” Doctors Without Borders has been in Haiti since the quake.

Tent camps that were supposed to be temporary are feeling eerily permanent. There are more than 1,300 of them, most without proper sanitation or drinking water. Some have sprouted up on private property, creating tensions between landowners and the homeless.

Despite all that remains to be done, there is some promising news.

  • The United Nations reports that four million people have received food assistance, shelter materials have been distributed to 1.5 million people, safe water has been made available to 1.2 million people, and one million people have benefited from cash-for-work programs. More than 142,000 farming families have been assisted with spring planting and nutritional programs are working to reduce malnutrition among quake victims.
  • About 100,000 people have been able to return to homes that were not damaged. Transitional shelters are being established to house those still in tent camps, with 120,000 expected to be ready by next year.
  • UNICEF continues to work to improve the lives of children, and the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) is assisting with reproductive health needs, providing maternal health supplies and hygiene kits, tents, mattresses, and solar-powered lamps to the female population.
  • The UN World Food Program (WFP), in anticipation of the rain and hurricane season, is pre-positioning food supplies in the most vulnerable areas of the country.
  • Oxfam distributes more than 8 million liters of water a day, monitoring the chlorination process and testing water to avoid contamination.
  • Partners In Health, which raised $85 million for Haiti earthquake relief, is building a new teaching hospital in Haiti to serve Haitians who cannot afford private hospitals.

Cheryl Mills, a senior adviser to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, said there have been no major disease outbreaks. That’s great news, but it doesn’t mean we’re in the clear. Much work remains. Reporting from Haiti on the six-month anniversary of the earthquake, CNN reporter Ivan Watson said, “It still looks like a bomb just dropped on this city.”

As long as tent cities and earthquake rubble remain, the potential for large-scale illness and communicable disease looms large.

Former President Bill Clinton, in an interview with CNN, said he is still waiting on the people who promised to be donors.

For more information on what Bill Clinton is doing for Haiti, take a look at the William J. Clinton Foundation Haiti Fund Fact Sheet and learn how you can help.

 

Related Reading on Care2 Trailblazers for Good:

La Nouvelle Vie Haiti: Breathing New Life Into Haiti’s Reconstruction

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Image used under Creative Commons License via Flickr with thanks to Edyta.Materka


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72 comments

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3:37PM PDT on Jul 29, 2010

Karen A. I agree with you 100 percent. We should take care of our own.

Judy E. Americans have always gone to great lenghts to help out other countries in time of tragety. Do you know about what happened here in the US on 9/11?? Please do not let ignorence get in the way of thinking. We are fighting a war in Iraq, and the US is in great dept. So let's see who will help us out. Any takers?? still waiting.

11:49PM PDT on Jul 27, 2010

thanks

8:11PM PDT on Jul 20, 2010

Bring back the click to help Haiti please! I am always uneasy when so many need so much help, here and abroad. I dont like to pit suffering against suffering but there is so many that need help in our backyards and across waters. Help when you can, how you can, when you can, whenever you can. I hope no one has to suffer for much longer.

9:38AM PDT on Jul 20, 2010

The US & most other nations haven't delivered on those promised $Millions. However, CUBA sent doctors galore & more from the git-go! SEAN PENN --lookin' haggard on Charlie Rose last nite 19Jul -- said: Haiti needs help CLEARING THE RUBBLE, then the Haitians can rebuild; many BASIC MEDICINES still not available = more needless deaths!
Ck out Democracy Now's reports 12/13/14Jul10!
Wyclef's got some good projects http://www.yele-haiti.org/
POV "I Love You, Mommy" US families adopting Haitian orphans
MALNUTRITION IS A WORLDWIDE PANDEMIC!

8:04AM PDT on Jul 20, 2010

Thanks for the post.

4:53AM PDT on Jul 20, 2010

In S.Africa we have been paying Aristide wages that are equal to those of a Minister.
I hesitate to say what his enormous entourage has been paid!
Let Haiti take him back, they have been clamoring to make them their prime minister for years!
Do not put any obsctacles in the way!
For all you know, he might surprise us and do something constructive in that devastated part of the world!

12:32AM PDT on Jul 20, 2010

I agree with Daniel B. Bring bak the care2 click to donate for Haiti.

9:07PM PDT on Jul 19, 2010

While I am always willing to help in any way I can, I'm concerned at why you wouldn't want to help our people here in the USA who have lost their homes due to the loss of their jobs, loss of unemployment, etc. I too, have suffered the consequences of unemployment after 37 years of hard work with an auto supplier. While President Obama has helped push through so many programs, it's still not enough for some. Please start with your American neighbors, friends & families. Understand I'm not against helping other nations, but we really need the help & support here. If you live in the Detroit area like I do, the area has been suffering for 2 years. These people could use a boost, a helping hand & supportive heart. If we get back on our feet, we can help save the men, women, children, animals & environment too! God Bless !

9:35AM PDT on Jul 18, 2010

I have collected toys and clothes for the children in Haiti.but have not been able to find someone who would distribute them. Please, is there someone who knows how I can get these much needed things to the children?

10:21PM PDT on Jul 17, 2010

I hope that the help comes soon.

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