Five days after the earthquake killed up to 200,000 people, delivery of aid supplies is still painfully slow for hundreds of thousands of desperate and hungry Haitians.Victims have been sheltering in makeshift camps on streets next to rotting corpses while others have fled the capital Port-au-Prince on foot to find food and shelter. Food water and medical supplies from The United Nations and Oxfam have finally started to trickle through to the needy, but there is still a logjam of planes on the Caribbean island’s tiny main airport.
Getting supplies out to people from the planes is still a major hurdle. "The Haitian airport now is overwhelmed," UN Assistant Secretary General for Peacekeeping Operations, Edmond Mulet told the BBC. The US navy dropping stocks of bottled water by helicopter and the UN has also been handing out high-energy bars to the hungry. But food and water are being taken faster than they can pass it out. And as chaos sets in, Violence is starting to spread. Fighting broke out between groups of looters carrying knives, ice-picks, hammers and rocks. And police on the streets of Port-au-Prince, scarce police patrols fired shots and tear gas to try to disperse looters.
Aid was being delivered as quickly as possible, said David Wimhurst, a spokesman for the UN peacekeeping force in Haiti. "Aid is going out but it's simply impossible in 24 hours to bring in enough aid to instantly feed all these people, many of whom are in places that are inaccessible," he said. As many as 90 per cent of the buildings in nearby town, Leogane, have been levelled, the UN said. One survivor in the town said so far people in the area had received no help of any kind. "We don't have any aid, nothing at all," he said. "No food, no water, no medical, no doctors."
Cash also continued to pour in over the weekend into the Disasters Emergency Committee's Haiti Earthquake Appeal. People in Britain pledged £15m in the space of 24 hours.
The DEC's Brendan Gormley said: "We urge the public to continue to dig deep into their pockets so supplies can be sourced and delivered as swiftly as possible over the next few days and weeks."A British Airways flight carrying supplies from Oxfam and Unicef was due to land in the Dominican Republic on Saturday night. A British Red Cross emergency logistics team also went to help co-ordinate deliveries and yesterday, (Sunday) UK firefighters in Haiti dug three people from the rubble.
By Hayley Jarvis for SOS Children