Haiti Earthquake: Who Is Doing What Where? How Can I Help?

  • Posted on: 15 January 2010
  • By: Bryan Schaaf
News: 

Immediately after the earthquake, the main source of information was Twitter, which I have a new respect for.  Journalists and aid workers are arriving in Haiti and we are gaining a better sense of just how extensive the damage to Port au Prince is.  We also know that Jacmel was seriously affected as well.  Aid from the United States, other governments, and humanitarian responders both big and small is picking up.  This is a summary of the current situation, who is doing what where, and how you can help.  Additional updates will be posted as comments.

 

Community members are always the first responders to disasters, and this earthquake was no exception.  Seismologists say that earthquakes do not kill people, shelter does. Haitians tried their best to free people trapped in the rubble, even with their bare hands, but in many cases, heavy equipment was needed.  Both MINUSTAH and the Haitian government have taken serious losses, impacting their ability to respond.  Despite this,  MINUSTAH is doing all it can under extremely difficult circumstances.  About 3,000 police and peacekeepers cleared debris, directed traffic and maintained security.  But as numerous sources noted, law enforcement was stretched thin even before the quake and is not prepared to deal with major unrest - which is bound to occur if survivors do not receive assistance soon.

 

There are said to have been have 30 aftershocks so far and people are very wary of another earthquake.  According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), there is no regular water supply.  Communications are down and there is no electricity.  While authorities have warned of looting and other crimes, and despite reports that criminals escaped from a prison, security is holding for the time being.

 

We don’t know how many people died yet, but the Red Cross is estimating between 40,000 – 50,000.   The Red Cross notes growing desperation over food and water.  Aid is being slowed down by poor roads, a crowded airport, and a damaged seaport. "There's only so much concrete" for parking planes, U.S. Air Force Col. Buck Elton said at the airport. "It's a constant puzzle of trying to move aircraft in and out.""  According to the AP, donations are coming in to the airport, but there is not yet a system in place to stock and distribute supplies.

 

The Haitian government still controls spacing and landing of flights. It is only operational for humanitarian and military flights. Lack of fuel is a major constraint. This means aircraft must be able to return on their own fuel. According to OCHA, MINUSTAH began prepositioning trucks and forklifts at the airport. The port is not operational, with all three cranes destroyed. Traffic congestion and debris in the streets are impeding general movement.

 

OCHA states the highest priorities are  urgent search-and-rescue assistance, including  teams with vital heavy-lifting equipment, medical assistance and supplies. Food, clean water and sanitation, and emergency shelter are also critical.   It is widely expected that affected individuals and families may leave Port au Prince to stay with friends and relatives in the countryside.

 

So who is in charge of this humanitarian operation? In theory, the government.  In reality, MINUSTAH has established an Emergency Joint Operations Center to coordinate support to the overall humanitarian effort, The UN, the US, and Iceland have set up a reception center at the airport. The U.N.'s 9,000-member peacekeeping force sent patrols across the capital's streets while securing the airport, port and main buildings.

 

The United States government is engaged. This morning, President Obama announced "one of the largest relief efforts in our recent history backed by more than $100 million in relief funds.  On January 13, U.S Ambassador to Haiti Kenneth H. Merten declared a disaster due to the effects of the earthquake. In response, The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) provided initial fiunding to the U.S. Embassy in Port-au-Prince for an emergency response program

 

USAID has also deployed a top-notch Disaster Assistance and Response Team (DART) to Haiti and established a Response Management Team (RMT) in Washington DC to back it up.. USAID plans to provide additional assistance in accordance with the findings of the USAID/DART and humanitarian community assessments.  The Department of Defense (DOD) is also actively involved, over 5,000 soldiers are expected to be deployed by this weekend.  Numerous naval vessels are expected over the coming week.  The American military is generally well-regarded by Haitians, having seen them respond well to previous disasters.

 

Other governments are engaged.  Cargo planes from China, France, Spain, and the United States have landed in Port au Prince airport.  Cuba has many excellent health care providers in Haiti and this provides an excellent opportunity for our two countries to work together toward a common goal, something we have not done for a long, long time.  Venezuela also sent a C-130 with relief supplies and a 50 person response team.  In addition to the American search and rescue teams from Fairfax and Los Angeles, Iceland has also deployed a team. Nicaragua will send electricians to help repair power lines as much of the country’s electrical and telecommunications systems are down.  Mexico is sending doctors and relief workers. Jamaica has offered the airport in Kingston as a staging area into Haiti.  The Turks and Caicos Islands have pledged heavy duty equipment and operators as well as medical supplies and personnel. The Phillipines and Switzerland are deploying emergency teams.  Peru is providing medical supplies.  New offers of assistance occur daily.

 

Many governments are making cash contributions to the relief effort and that includes Spain, Germany, France, the Netherlands, Sweden, Luxembourg, Belgium, China, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Switzerland, Finland, Japan, Denmark, Italy, the United Kingdom and the European Commission.  Saint Lucia has set up an earthquake relief fund.  Rotarians from countries around the world are also providing support.

 

The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) high level delegation is expected to arrive in Haiti tomorrow as scheduled. The Regional Response Assessment team will now be deployed to Haiti on Saturday January 15, 2010.  The International Monetary Fund and the World Bank are also providing considerable financial assistance for Haiti's recovery.

 

According to CNET News, the United Nations Foundation and Digicel are also providing cash assistance. Major League Baseball has pledged an immediate donation of $1 million to benefit earthquake victims in Haiti. Google has pledged $1 million and set up a special page for donations and added updated satellite imagery of the region to Google Maps.

 

Microsoft has said it will give up to $1.25 million in cash and in-kind donations, as well as match employee contributions as part of its standard program that matches up to $12,000 per worker in donations each year.  Apple has set up a donation mechanism within iTunes, while a campaign by the Red Cross and the cellular industry to raise money via text message donations has pulled in more than $4 million.

 

Rumors were circulating on Twitter that several airlines were flying doctors and nurses to Haiti free of charge to help with relief efforts.  Also that UPS was shipping to Haiti for free. It was not true.  This is not to say that airlines and UPS have not been helping.  UPS is donating a million dollars throough relief agencies while American and American Eagle sent planes to Port au Prince carrying water, food, and other goods for the response.

 

Alongside former President Bill Clinton, former President George W. Bush will share responsibility for raising money and keeping attention on the aftermath of the devastating earthquake. The appointment will be made shortly by President Obama.

 

Many organizations are responding to the needs of survivors.  This includes the American Red Cross which released $10 million dollars today for the relief effort. Thousands of local Red Cross volunteers are aiding their fellow Haitians. American Red Cross Disaster management specialists are scheduled to arrive today from the United States, Peru and Mexico to join local Red Cross staff already on the ground in the disaster zone. As soon as airports begin accepting relief shipments, tarps, hygiene items and cooking sets for approximately 5,000 families will come from the Red Cross warehouse in Panama.

 

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has a plane full of mostly medical items on the way to Haiti from Geneva. ICRC staff, including engineers, a surgeon and family linking specialists are expected to arrive in Port-au-Prince this morning. Other Red Cross partners have deployed a mobile hospital, medical teams, and 40 staff to help with sheltering, providing water, sanitation, and telecommunications.  ICRC is also helping reconnect separated families in Haiti through a special web site which enables people in Haiti and outside the country to search for and register the names of missing relatives.

 

The World Food Programme (WFP) has established a logistics hub in the Dominican Republic and has begun acquiring logistics assets.  WFP is deploying logistics and telecommunication staff to Haiti to support humanitarian operations.  In addition, WFP is coordinating food assistance to survivors through an intial emergency operation valued at $500,000.

 

The UN Childrens Fund (UNICEF) is in charge of Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene – critical issues given that water systems have been severely compromised.  Having access to drinkable water and sanitation facilities will be critical to ensure disease outbreaks do not occur.   UNICEF will also establish temporary health facilities, assess damaged health facilities, and carry out vaccination campaigns.

 

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) is responsible for providing emergency shelter and non food items (like blankets) to survivors. IOM is to distribute emergency relief material from stocks already in the country. IOM reports it has enough stock in country to 10,000 families, but a far greater level of support is needed.  IOM reports tents are its highest need along with financial support.

 

The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) is the regional branch of the World Health Organization (WHO) and so will be responsible for coordinating health services. This is important given that at least eight Port-au-Prince hospitals have been severely damaged.  A 12-person team is set to arrive soon that will conduct an assessment of the health sector and the capacity of health systems.  A field office will be set up on the DR-Haiti border to assist in deployment of more team members who will be arriving with expertise in including water/sanitation/hygiene, infectious disease, and health systems.

 

The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) is deploying commodities needed to ensure the reproductive health of disaster affected women. They will also assist with mobile clinics.

 

Many good non governmental organizations (NGOs) are responding as well. For example, Handicap International is deploying staff to hospitals to assist with rehabilitation and post surgery assistance.  This is essential as many, many people are going to be disabled as a result of their injuries.   Project Medishare and Partners in Health are deploying staff, medicines, and medical supplies to Port au Prince.  World Vision teams are supplying hospitals with gauze, bandages, syringes, latex gloves and antibiotics. Oxfam is providing safe water and shelter. CARE is deploying both medical supplies and emergency response staff.

 

How can you help?  We’ve received a lot of emails asking where to send clothing and food – but remember that the port is not working and that the airport is jam packed with commodities right now.  Much of what Haiti needs can be acquired locally or in the Dominican Republic (for a cost). What Haiti does not have is best brought in bulk by organizations with the capacity to do so.  It is less expensive and more efficent to distribute this way.   Any of the organizations listed above will use your money well.  More information can be found at The Center for International Disaster Information

 

So far, the United States has responded strongly as have other countries, the Red Cross, non-governmental organizations, and international responders.  This is going to be a long term recovery operation.  Right now it seems like the coverage of Haiti will last forever but it will not.  There will be other emergencies in other places and the attention of the international community may wane. We cannot let that happen. Haiti needs partners who will stand with it, in solidarity, as the country gets back on its feet.  As our neighbors, as our friends, as our family, as citizens of a country whose history and fate are intertwined with ours, they deserve no less than our strong committment and our best efforts.  On behalf of Haiti Innovation, thank you to all who are helping Haiti during this difficult time. 

 

Bryan   

 

Comments

PARIS, January 14, 2010 (AFP) - US President Barack Obama and French President Nicolas Sarkozy, along "with Brazil, Canada, and other countries directly concerned," will organise an international conference on Haiti's reconstruction, the French presidency said Thursday. Sarkozy would hold talks over the coming hours with President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva of Brazil and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, the Elysee statement added.
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The decision was taken during a phone call between Obama and Sarkozy on Thursday evening, it said.
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The Elysee, the French president's office, said Obama had called his French counterpart to discuss the "situation in Haiti and efforts by the US and France to help victims of the earthquake."
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"The two presidents, determined to face the humanitarian emergency, agreed to closely coordinate and intensify their efforts on the ground in order to save lives," it added.

Reuters, WASHINGTON, Jan 15 (Reuters) - The Cuban government has agreed to let the U.S. military use restricted Cuban air space for medical evacuation flights carrying Haitian earthquake victims, sharply reducing the flight time to Miami, a U.S. official said on Friday. White House spokesman Tommy Vietor said a deal had been reached allowing evacuation flights from the U.S. Naval Station in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to pass over the communist-ruled island on the way to Florida. The deal would shorten the flight time by 90 minutes on trips that normally are routed around Cuba.
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U.S. military disaster relief teams in Haiti have been taking injured quake survivors to Guantanamo for treatment. Some victims are being sent from Guantanamo to south Florida for further treatment.
U.S. President Barack Obama since taking office in January has sought to soften the hard-line approach his predecessor, George W. Bush, took toward Cuba.
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The Obama administration last year eased restrictions on Cuban-Americans visiting and sending cash to relatives in Cuba. Obama has made clear the long-standing U.S. economic embargo on Cuba will remain until the Cuban government implements Democratic reforms.

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) is about to launch an appeal for relief and rescue operations. IFRC is concerned that has not been enough attention on rural areas and so will begin carrying out assessments outside of Port au Prince. IFRC is sending health and other relief commodities and is deploying a logistics team from the DR. Many Haitians are volunteering through the Haitian Red Cross.

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti – Hundreds of U.S. troops touched down in shattered Port-au-Prince overnight as U.N. and other aid organizations struggled Friday to get food and water to stricken millions. Fears spread of unrest among the Haitian people in their fourth day of desperation.
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Looters roamed downtown streets, young men and boys with machetes. "They are scavenging everything. What can you do?" said Michel Legros, 53, as he waited for help to search for seven relatives buried in his collapsed house.
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Hard-pressed government workers, meanwhile, were burying thousands of bodies in mass graves. The Red Cross estimates 45,000 to 50,000 people were killed in Tuesday's cataclysmic earthquake.
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More and more, the focus fell on the daunting challenge of getting aid to survivors. United Nations peacekeepers patrolling the capital said people's anger was rising that aid hasn't been distributed quickly, and warned aid convoys to add security to guard against looting.
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On Friday morning, no sign was seen of foreign assistance entering the downtown area, other than a U.S. Navy helicopter flying overhead.
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Ordinary Haitians sensed the potential for an explosion of lawlessness. "We're worried that people will get a little uneasy," said attendant Jean Reynol, 37, explaining his gas station was ready to close immediately if violence breaks out.
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"People who have not been eating or drinking for almost 50 hours and are already in a very poor situation," U.N. humanitarian spokeswoman Elisabeth Byrs said in Geneva. "If they see a truck with something, or if they see a supermarket which has collapsed, they just rush to get something to eat."
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The quake's destruction of Port-au-Prince's main prison complicated the security situation. International Red Cross spokesman Marcal Izard said some 4,000 prisoners had escaped and were freely roaming the streets.
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"They obviously took advantage of this disaster," Izard said.
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But Byrs said peacekeepers were maintaining security despite the challenges. "It's tense but they can cope," she said.
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The U.N. World Food Program said post-quake looting of its food supplies long stored in Port-au-Prince appears to have been limited, contrary to an earlier report Friday. It said it would start handing out 6,000 tons of food aid recovered from a damaged warehouse in the city's Cite Soleil slum.
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A spokeswoman for the Rome-based agency, Emilia Casella, said the WFP was preparing shipments of enough ready-to-eat meals to feed 2 million Haitians for a month. She noted that regular food stores in the city had been emptied by looters.
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More than 100 paratroopers of the U.S. 82nd Airborne Division arrived at the Port au Prince airport overnight, boosting the U.S. military presence to several hundred on the ground here, and others have arrived off Port-au-Prince harbor on the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson.
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Helicopters have been ferrying water and other relief supplies off the Vinson into the airport, U.S. military officials said.
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"We have much more support on the way. Our priority is getting relief out to the needy people," Lt. Gen. Ken Keen, deputy commander of the U.S. Southern Command, told ABC's "Good Morning America."
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The command said other paratroopers and Marines would raise the U.S. presence to 8,000 troops in the coming days. Their efforts will include providing security, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said.
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Hundreds of bodies were stacked outside the city morgue, and limbs of the dead protruded from the rubble of crushed schools and homes. A few workers were able to free people who had been trapped under the rubble for days, including a New Jersey woman, Sarla Chand, 65, of Teaneck, freed by French firefighters Thursday from the collapsed Montana Hotel. But others attended to the grim task of using bulldozers to transport loads of bodies.
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Driving a yellow backhoe through downtown Friday morning, Norde Pierre Rico said his government crew had cleared one house and found four people alive. But "there's no plan, no dispatch plan," he said, another sign of a lack of coordination and leadership in the rescue and aid efforts in these early days of the crisis.
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Experts say people trapped by Tuesday's quake would begin to succumb if they go without water for three or four days.
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Haitian President Rene Preval told The Miami Herald that over a 20-hour period, government crews had removed 7,000 corpses from the streets and morgues and buried them in mass graves.
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For the long-suffering people of Haiti, the Western Hemisphere's poorest nation, shock was giving way to despair.
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"We need food. The people are suffering. My neighbors and friends are suffering," said Sylvain Angerlotte, 22. "We don't have money. We don't have nothing to eat. We need pure water."
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From Europe, Asia and the Americas, more than 20 governments, the U.N. and private aid groups were sending planeloads of high-energy biscuits and other food, tons of water, tents, blankets, water-purification gear, heavy equipment for removing debris, helicopters and other transport. Hundreds of search-and-rescue, medical and other specialists also headed to Haiti.
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The WFP began organizing distribution centers for food and water Thursday, said Kim Bolduc, acting chief of the large U.N. mission in Haiti. She said that "the risk of having social unrest very soon" made it important to move quickly.
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Governments and government agencies have pledged about $400 million worth of aid, including $100 million from the United States.
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But the global helping hand was slowed by a damaged seaport and an airport that turned away civilian aid planes for eight hours Thursday because of a lack of space and fuel.
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At Toussaint L'Ouverture International Airport, a stream of U.S. military cargo planes was landing Friday, but they had to circle for an hour before getting clearance to land because the quake destroyed the control tower and radar control, and the U.S. military was using emergency procedures.
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Aid workers have been blocked by debris on inadequate roads and by survivors gathered in the open out of fear of aftershocks from the 7.0-magnitude quake and re-entering unstable buildings.
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"The physical destruction is so great that physically getting from point A to B with the supplies is not an easy task," Casella, the WFP spokeswoman in Geneva, said at a news conference.
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Across the sprawling, hilly city, people milled about in open areas, hopeful for help, sometimes setting up camps amid piles of salvaged goods, including food scavenged from the rubble.
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Small groups could be seen burying dead by roadsides. Other dust-covered bodies were dragged down streets, toward hospitals where relatives hoped to leave them. Countless dead remained unburied. Outside one pharmacy, the body of a woman was covered by a sheet, a small bundle atop her, a tiny foot poking from its covering.
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Aid worker Fevil Dubien said some people were almost fighting over the water he distributed from a truck in a northern Port-au-Prince neighborhood.
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Elsewhere, about 50 Haitians yearning for food and water rushed toward two employees wearing "Food For The Poor" T-shirts as they entered the international agency's damaged building.
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"We heard a commotion at the door, knocking at it, trying to get in," said project manager Liony Batista. "'What's going on? Are you giving us some food?' We said, 'Uh-oh.' You never know when people are going over the edge."
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Batista said he and others tried to calm the crowd, which eventually dispersed after being told food hadn't yet arrived.
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"We're not trying to run away from what we do," Batista said, adding that coordinating aid has been a challenge. "People looked desperate, people looked hungry, people looked lost."
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Engineers from the U.N. mission have begun clearing some main roads, and law-and-order duties have fallen completely to its 3,000 international troops and police.
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David Wimhurst, spokesman for the U.N. peacekeeping mission, said Haitian police "are not visible at all," no doubt because many had to deal with lost homes and family members. The first U.S. military units to arrive took on a coordinating role at the airport.
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Batista, the Food For The Poor project manager, went back to the Dominican Republic late Thursday and awaited the arrival of 100 shipping containers loaded with rice, canned goods and building supplies.
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"I don't think that a word has been invented for what is happening in Haiti," he said. "It is total disaster."

(Jan. 14) -- Once again, Haiti is faced with a calamity of massive proportions. And once again, the international relief machinery is gearing up for action. Governments are pledging assistance, planes and ships are being dispatched, and literally hundreds of relief agencies in many parts of the world are mobilizing to assist.
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As the earthquake story unfolds over the coming weeks, there are three aspects to the response that probably won't make the front pages but that will be vital in determining the effectiveness of the response.
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1) Strengthen Haiti's Government
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Long before this disaster, the Haitian government was weak and had a hard time providing security for its people, much less ensuring that its citizens had a decent standard of living. The Haitian government needs assistance in the aftermath of this terrible disaster. There is no doubt about this.
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The international relief apparatus has become much more efficient and effective in recent years. But it is important to remember that it is the responsibility of the national authorities, in this case the Haitian authorities, to protect and assist their citizens and anyone else on their territory. When the capacity or willingness of these authorities is insufficient, the international community needs to support the efforts of the government and local authorities.
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International responders need to be careful that they are supporting the government -- and in the best case, strengthening the government -- not substituting for it.
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If international relief operations are wound up in a month or a year, but the local governmental agencies aren't able to build on this work, then the internationals will have missed an opportunity to leave something lasting behind. They will have done a disservice to Haiti and the Haitian government.
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2) Support Haiti's Community Groups
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While much of the reporting in the coming days and weeks will focus on the international efforts to mobilize assistance, it is also important to remember that it is largely Haitian citizens and community groups who initially pawed through the rubble to try to rescue trapped victims.
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While they are unable to provide the scale of relief needed to respond to this tragedy, those small community groups will be central to long-term recovery efforts. There is unfortunately a tendency for internationals to take over relief operations, leaving smaller community groups to feel marginalized. This doesn't have to happen.
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3) Let the United Nations Take the Lead
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Finally, in all major disasters, coordinating the relief effort is always a headache. In the humanitarian world, it is common to note that everyone thinks coordination is essential, but no one really wants to be coordinated. There are so many different actors -- military forces, civilian agencies from many countries, large international nongovernmental organizations, small civil society groups, regional agencies -- each with its own mandate, agendas, partners, issues and timetables.
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When the system works well, it is the United Nations that plays the lead coordination role.
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Initial reports from Haiti indicate that the U.N. mission headquarters collapsed in the earthquake and that over 100 U.N. staff are unaccounted for. Some countries have already reported deaths of their U.N. peacekeepers. The deaths of U.N. and other aid agency staff who would have been key for this relief effort are a tragic effect of the disaster.
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However, the 9,000 peacekeepers already in Haiti and the many aid agencies on the ground and the many disaster experts already en route should allow for a quick response.
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In situations like this, it's all too clear that not only do we need the U.N., but we need the U.N. to take the lead in coordinating the international response.
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Elizabeth Ferris is a senior fellow in foreign policy at The Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C., and co-director of The Brookings Institution/University of Bern Project on Internal Displacement, where her work encompasses a wide range of issues related to forced migration, human rights, humanitarian action, the role of civil society in protecting displaced populations and the security implications of displacement.

http://peacecorpsconnect.typepad.com/peacecorpspolyglot/2010/01/rpcvs-in...

Bryan, Thank you so much for all that you are doing to keep people informed about the situation in Haiti. We at the National Peace Corps Association are doing all that we can to help connect the returned Peace Corps volunteer community, who like you have language skills and technical expertise that will be valuable in the days, weeks and months ahead.

Erica Burman
National Peace Corps Association
http://www.peacecorpsconnect.org

Erica, thank you very much for all you are doing for Haiti as well. Returned peace corps volunteers have a lot to offer in Haiti now and through the long recovery process that lies ahead of us. I appreciate you helping to make that happen.

Source: Reuters - AlertNet
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- Scotiabank (Bank of Nova Scotia) is accepting donations for the Canadian Red Cross' Haiti Earthquake Relief Fund at its bank branches and making a C$250,000 corporate contribution.
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- The General Motors Foundation is making a $100,000 contribution to the American Red Cross relief fund. GM has provided an Internet link so its employees can contribute to the Red Cross.
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- Campbell Soup Co is contributing at least $200,000 and putting a mechanism in place for employees to make contributions.
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- Wells Fargo & Co is donating $100,000 to the American Red Cross relief fund.
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- Wal-Mart Stores Inc is donating $500,000 to Red Cross relief efforts in Haiti and sending prepackaged food kits valued at $100,000 to Haiti at the request of the Red Cross.
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The world's biggest retailer has launched an Internet page, www.walmartstores.com/haiti, where customers and employees can make donations to nonprofits supporting relief efforts.
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- Lowe's Cos Inc is donating $1 million to the Red Cross' efforts in Haiti. The No. 2 U.S. home improvement chain also plans to seek cash donations from its customers.
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- American Airlines, a unit AMR Corp, scheduled three flights to Port-au-Prince on Wednesday with 10,000 pounds of aid, including material for hospitals. Three more flights are scheduled for Thursday.
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American is working with the Red Cross on a program through which members can make donations toward relief in return for frequent flier miles. American has 100 employees in Haiti.
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- ConAgra Foods Foundation said it would pledge $100,000 to the International Red Cross Relief Fund.
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- Cereal maker Kellogg Co will donate $250,000 to the American Red Cross for its relief effort.
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- Bank of America Corp has committed $1 million to the effort with half going to the American Red Cross for the Haitian Relief and Development fund.
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- Drugmaker Abbott Laboratories will provide $1 million in humanitarian aid, including donations of medicines and nutritional products.
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- BMO Financial Group pledged $250,000 to Red Cross effort in Haiti.
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- Internet services company Go Daddy will donate $500,000 to aid quake victims.
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- Rogers Communications and the Rogers family will donate $250,000 in funds and goods to Partners In Health :Haiti and other relief organizations.
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- Home Depot and the Home Depot Foundation will donate $100,000 to the American Red Cross for relief efforts in Haiti.
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- Walt Disney Co pledged $100,000 in humanitarian aid. (Compiled by Nicole Maestri, Abhinav Sharma and Shrutika Verma; Additional reporting by Brad Dorfman in Chicago, Scott Malone in Boston, John Crawley in Washington, and Dhanya Skariarchan in New York; Editing by Toni Reinhold, David Holmes, Gopakumar Warrier and Maju Samuel)
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For more humanitarian news and analysis, please visit www.alertnet.org

The main roads in Port au Prince (including the airport road) are being cleared by MINUSTAH and the Brazilian battalion. The road from Jacmel to Port au Prince is passable for "all terrain" vehicles. The road from Santo Domingo to Port au Prince is becoming congested with cargo trucks.

The United Nations is appealing for $560 million to help victims of the catastrophic earthquake which struck Haiti earlier this week, as the world body scales up its assistance in the wake of the disaster.
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The 7.0 magnitude tremors which struck Haiti – the Western Hemisphere’s poorest country – on Tuesday are estimated to have affected one third of the nation’s nine million people.
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The earthquake has devastated the capital, Port-au-Prince, leaving basic services on the brink of collapse. The UN estimates that 10 per cent of the buildings in the city have been destroyed, leaving 300,000 people homeless, and many are fleeing the destruction.
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Half of the funds sought for the flash appeal launched today will be earmarked for emergency food aid, with the rest targeted at health, water, sanitation, nutrition, early recovery, emergency education and other key needs.
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Because of the lack of detailed information from the ground, the appeal will be revised in the coming weeks, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs John Holmes told reporters in New York.
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The UN is working to overcome serious obstacles to providing aid posed by lack of infrastructure and other issues, and Mr. Holmes underscored the need to recognize the reality that “inevitably and despite everyone’s enormous efforts,” it will take some time to scale up the pace of the operations.
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With the top UN official in Haiti, Hédi Annabi, still unaccounted for, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon dispatched Edmond Mulet, his former Special Representative to Haiti and current Assistant-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, to the country to assume full command of the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) and coordinate the relief effort.
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The Office for the Coordination Affairs (OCHA) said that food and medical help have started to arrive in Port-au-Prince, but on a limited scale.
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The Office is coordinating some 27 search-and-rescue teams – considered a top priority as many people remained trapped under rubble – while a further 10 teams are set to arrive shortly.
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Dozens of nations have offered their assistance, and the UN is working to ensure that the aid reaches people as quickly as possible.
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With many survivors having sustained serious injuries, including traumatic wounds and crushed limbs, medical support has been identified as an immediate need, along with food, water and shelter. The UN World Health Organization (WHO) is coordinating medical assistance and sending a 12-member team specializing in victim care, while its partners are ramping up their efforts on the ground.
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Yesterday, WHO said eight hospitals were damaged or destroyed in Haiti and two damaged in neighbouring Dominican Republic. “We fear that the impact of this earthquake will be particularly devastating to the already existing vulnerability of Haiti’s people, society and economy,” said WHO’s Paul Garwood.
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OCHA said today that while the number of mobile hospitals set to arrive in the country is sufficient, there is still a great need for doctors, nurses and medicine. The Office also noted that it is conferring with Haitian authorities on the possibility of the national soccer stadium being used as a field hospital location.
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For its part, the World Food Programme (WFP) is continuing with its food distributions, aiming to reach 2 million people affected by the quake.
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The agency refuted media reports that its warehouses in Haiti had been looted and its food stocks stolen. It is also acquiring two helicopters that it will send to the country immediately, and moving nearly 90 metric tons of high-energy biscuits from El Salvador.
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WFP spokesperson Emilia Casella told reporters in Geneva that the agency has received $20 million in donations so far, mostly from the United States.
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Meanwhile, the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) highlighted as one of its key concerns identifying and reuniting children who have been separated from their parents in the disaster, as well as finding the extended families of orphaned children.
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Nearly half of Haiti’s population is under the age of 18, making children very vulnerable, UNICEF stressed, adding that many children are on the streets of Port-au-Prince, hungry, thirsty and traumatized.
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It is working around the clock to register children who are on their own, as well as to provide water purification tablets, latrines, shelter materials and hygiene kits.
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Immediately after the disaster, Mr. Ban ordered $10 million to be released from the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) to kick-start humanitarian relief efforts.

While the ICRC is focusing its efforts on bringing medical aid to the most vulnerable and assessing water needs, it is also struggling to support a health-care system in ruins. Elisabeth Le Saout, the deputy head of the ICRC's health unit, describes health priorities and challenges when disaster strikes.
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What is the health situation in Port-au-Prince and other earthquake-affected areas in Haiti?
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In an earthquake, there are generally many injured people and they need to be quickly treated if they are to survive. Furthermore, people continue to experience 'routine' health problems, and the fact that they can no longer receive care due to the crisis only worsens the health situation.
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We know that a large proportion of medical facilities in the affected area were damaged during the earthquake. Many doctors and nurses are missing from the health facilities that have already been assessed by the ICRC and thus many are functioning at lower capacity or not at all. Unfortunately, this disaster struck an already overburdened and under-resourced health-care system.
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As water supplies were cut off by the quake, there is fear that diarrhoea may spread as transmission of the disease is linked with drinking unsafe water.
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When an earthquake of this scale strikes, what are the immediate medical needs of the population?
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The first priority is to extract survivors from the rubble and save lives. This is the main concern in the days following the earthquake. It is important to remember that the majority of lives are saved by first responders, who are often neighbours and people trained in First Aid from the local community.
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The other top priority is to stabilize the injured and get surgical care to those in need as soon as possible in order to limit the risk of infection or even gangrene and tetanus. Access to basic health care for non-injured people, for example, pregnant women, and those with acute diseases, is very important as well.
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The basic needs of survivors must be looked after as quickly as possible, such as shelter, safe water and food. Otherwise people will fall ill, often with diarrhoea and respiratory infections. Children under five are the most vulnerable, and are likely to fall ill first. The fact that people are forced to gather in areas that are not equipped to receive them increases the risk of disease.
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Psychological support to the victims and to those who may develop psychological disorders is another priority. Attention will have to be paid in due course to the rescuers as well, who will likely need psychological support given the stressful situations they endure.
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What sort of health assistance is the ICRC focusing on and what are some of the challenges the organization is facing on the ground?
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The ICRC is primarily focusing on immediate support to functioning health facilities with the donation of dressings, medicines and medical material kits. The ICRC has donated to five large health structures and to some ad-hoc health centres set up in areas with high concentrations of earthquake survivors. In parallel, the ICRC is doing a rapid health assessment of the needs of the population focusing initially on health facilities and prisons. The ICRC regularly visited detainees in these prisons prior to the earthquake, to monitor their living conditions and treatment.
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Assessments of the basic needs of the affected populations outside Port-au-Prince are planned for the near future.
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ICRC humanitarian workers are facing many challenges on the ground, primarily with regard to security and access to the most vulnerable people. With regard to access, they face shortages of fuel, electricity and roads that are completely blocked by rubble.
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Other challenges include lack of ministry of health staff to run the hospitals that are functioning and difficulties getting medical supplies into Port-au-Prince. Finally, there is the usual challenge of setting up coordination mechanisms between the different humanitarian actors following a disaster of such massive scale.
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How is the ICRC working with the Haitian Red Cross, other Red Cross units and humanitarian organizations with regard to health and medical assistance?
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The ICRC's goal is to act wherever our field presence and expertise can help to make a difference for the victims and their families, as part of a coordinated Movement response led by the Haitian National Red Cross Society (HNRCS) and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.
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The ICRC set up a special website for Red Cross efforts to restore contacts between family members separated due to the earthquake and its aftermath. (Family Links)
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The ICRC has been supporting the First Aid programme of the HNRCS since 2007 with a particular focus on the city of Port-au-Prince, to strengthen the skills of First Aid volunteers and improve their equipment. They are able to care for the wounded and sick and transport them to referral health-care facilities. The HNRCS provided First Aid services immediately after the earthquake and continues to do so at health facilities where the injured are being taken. This is happening through the mobilization of its staff and First Aid volunteers, who themselves have been directly affected by the quake.
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The ICRC will take part in the health structure that will be created to coordinate support to Haiti's health-care system.

The United Nations Departments of Peacekeeping Operations and Field Support have launched two social networking sites to keep friends, families and colleagues of UN staff in Haiti up to date on the latest news.
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The site on Facebook called DPKO Support Page for UN Staff in Haiti contains the latest UN announcements, news reports, resource contacts and a capacity to receive questions from those concerned about the welfare of UN staff in Haiti.
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The site also contains links to all UN recovery efforts underway in Haiti.
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Friends, colleagues and family members of staff can also follow up to date information on Twitter at https://twitter.com/UNHaitiInfo
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Media Inquiries to: Josephine Guerrero at +1-212-963-1964 or +1-347-702-1763 OR Allison Cooper on +1-212-963-2073 or +1-917-767-1732

WASHINGTON, Jan 15 (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said she would visit Haiti on Saturday with new USAID chief Rajiv Shah to get a firsthand look at the earthquake relief effort.
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"I also have decided after consulting with President Obama and others in our government that I will be traveling to Haiti tomorrow with USAID administrator Dr. Raj Shah," Clinton told a news briefing on Friday.
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"We will be meeting President Preval and other members of the Haitian government along with the members of the U.S. government team on the ground," Clinton said.
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The trip would also allow her to personally convey support to the people of Haiti, she said. (Reporting by Andrew Quinn; Editing by John O'Callaghan)

Schaaf, there isn't a helluva lot of good to come out of this disaster, but I'm glad it made me track you down and made me aware of haitiinnovation.org. Very thoughtful stuff; thanks for your dedication and for the information you provide.
I've been sick all week from this and I know you have as well.
Bon chans zanmi.
Nathan Beckett (aka Gronk)

The Haitian government recovered 20,000 bodies, but that does not include those recovered by independent agencies or friends/family. Turkey committed 10 tons of humanitarian aid including medicine, medical equipment, tents, blankets, and food. Taiwan and China are providing aid to Haiti now. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will go to Haiti on January 17.

Khadijah Rentas, CNN
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Jacmel, Leogane, Carrefour and Petit-Goave are towns that are reeling from earthquake East of Port-au-Prince, makeshift camps have been erected in public squares Humanitarian response "needs to be immediate," says Kathryn Bolles of Save the Children
(CNN) -- Jacmel was the artsy town Kathryn Bolles would travel to on weekends, a respite from the bustle of Haiti's capital, Port-au-Prince.
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But when a colleague with the Save the Children organization returned from once-scenic Jacmel on Friday, Bolles said he was traumatized.
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"He said it's horrible what's happened there," said Bolles, the emergency health and nutrition director for Save the Children in Haiti. "People are lost, dead, missing. Houses are down and facilities are down. It sounded similar to what we're seeing here in Port-au-Prince."
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Attention has focused on Port-au-Prince since Tuesday's 7.0-magnitude quake, as it is the country's most populous city -- at more than 1.2 million people -- and has suffered tremendous devastation. Thousands of homeless victims have taken to sleeping in the streets, without food, water and medical attention. Others are buried beneath the rubble, and rescuers have miraculously pulled out survivors who were entombed by the debris.
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Elsewhere, though, preliminary reports are telling of how the crisis has gripped residents beyond the capital. "What we're hearing from text messages, from e-mails is that all along the coast going west and then down south, towns are absolutely destroyed," said Bolles, who has worked in Haiti since 1999 and spoke to CNN from Port-au-Prince. She learned of the extent of the damage from colleagues, people on the street and other aid groups.
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Just to the west of Port-au-Prince is Carrefour, a city of 442,000 that felt violent shaking during the quake, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. Damage there is expected to be heavy -- reports have yet to come in, the agency said.
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West of that is Leogane, a city, like Carrefour, that is passed on the road to Jacmel. More than 30 miles further west of the capital is Petit-Goave -- all towns, Bolles said that are reeling from the quake.
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Leogane's main hospital was flattened, as were numerous other buildings, Bolles said. She said she heard the "whole town had collapsed."
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Among the other areas, she said she was told an orphanage full of 1,500 children collapsed, and many people were dead or missing.
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CNN has yet to independently verify damage or casualties outside the capital, but reports continue to build in bits and pieces.
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About a three-hour drive south of the capital in Jacmel, there were reports of an orphanage that toppled, and of a hospital for women that collapsed, said Alana Salcer, spokeswoman for Cine Institute, a film school in Jacmel. Staff at the school and students there have written Salcer about the dire situation in that city, and even shot footage of buildings ripped open and survivors lying in streets. To keep the lights on and communication open, the school has had to rely on a generator after power lines went down.
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The home of the school's editing teacher, Andrew Bigosinski, fell down a hill when the earth violently shook, and many others lost their homes, Salcer said.
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Just east of Port-au-Prince, makeshift camps have been erected in the public squares of the densely populated area of Delmas, Cine Institute founder David Belle told Salcer in an e-mail shared with CNN.
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Belle described a harrowing scene on the road to Port-au-Prince:
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"Moving into the city ... the destruction gets worse and worse and the street is lined with piles of swollen, rotting bodies. ...Periodic road blocks have been set up by residents, protesting the lack of any aid presence and angry at stench and indecency. Huge tractors and dump trucks were just beginning to arrive and load bodies as we passed thru."
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American Red Cross logistics expert and relief worker Colin Chaperone said the biggest obstacle outside the capital was getting medical treatment to the injured. Chaperone arrived in the capital Wednesday and had driven east toward the border with the Dominican Republic to escort an American Red Cross Emergency Response Unit into Haiti, said Red Cross spokesman Jonathan Aiken.
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Chaperone told Aiken that about 30 minutes out of Port-au-Prince, he was still seeing significant and widespread damage. Medical care was limited, as local clinics were overwhelmed by demand, he said.
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Makeshift treatment facilities were established for those who fled the capital, many of whom had broken bones and other serious injuries, Chaperone said. Exacerbating the dangerous situation was the reality that medical supplies were running out.
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Roads are slowly becoming easier to navigate, but aid is still slow to get outside the capital. Bolles said that her team plans to travel as far as they can to assess the situation and offer help.
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"There really needs to be a humanitarian response and it needs to be immediate," she said. "Outside of Port-au-Prince there really hasn't been anything."

Haiti Quake Website Buckles
Posted on Thursday Jan 14th at 5:51pm
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The main Web site for distributing information about victims and relief efforts in earthquake-stricken Haiti has crashed under the strain of hits from millions of individuals worldwide seeking updates on the temblor.
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The Web site for the Center for International Disaster Information was non-responsive as of midday Thursday.
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The Center is operated through a grant from the United States Agency for International Development. It was established to provide urgent bulletins and real-time updates about conditions in disaster areas, as well as collect donations and other forms of assistance. On Wednesday, U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-California) advised those looking to contribute to relief efforts to use the CIDI site, which apparently crashed under the traffic spike.
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The 7.0 earthquake struck Haiti's capital city of Port Au Prince late afternoon on Tuesday. The quake flattened a vast percentage of the city's low-rise, concrete offices and homes.
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Estimates are that fatalities may be in the tens of thousands, but confirmed information remained sketchy. Some worried relatives of those caught in the quake zone have turned to social networking tools such as Facebook or Twitter in an effort to reach their loved ones or find out information on their whereabouts. Several pages sprang up on Facebook almost immediately after the quake. One such page, Earthquake Haiti, now has more than 100,000 members. Another page promised to donate $1.00 to Haiti relief efforts for every individual that joined the group. It had more than 70,000 members as of midday Thursday.
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The U.S. Embassy estimates there are about 45,000 Americans living in Haiti. The fate of many of them remained unclear.
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http://www.cidi.org/

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti – It wasn't long after Tuesday's earthquake leveled nearly all of the houses next to Claude Surena's that neighbors started showing up at his doorstep.
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For years, the 59-year old pediatrician had treated the sick at his two-story hillside home near the center of the Haitian capital. Suddenly, he was running a triage center, treating more than 100 victims on his shaded, leafy patio with food and supplies salvaged from ruined homes.
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His undamaged house provides at least a minimum level of comfort away from the devastation — even for the dying — while thousands of others in the city lie in the dirt under a merciless sun waiting for attention from a handful of doctors.
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"I have to thank whoever brought me," said Steve Julien, who says the last thing he remembers before he blacked out was rescue workers calling his name as they dug through the rubble of his house.
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When he woke up, he was lying on a mattress inside Surena's soothing oasis. "It was a blessing from God my house is safe," he said. "We at least have been able to do something for everyone."
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The patients show physical and emotional wounds from having their homes collapse on them. Julien, 48, is among the least severely injured, with only a few scrapes and a sore body. Others have compound fractures and festering wounds. Surena said at least 10 patients are in critical need of more substantial help. The injured sing Christian hymns as they huddle close together beneath sheets strung up as tents, but the earthquake still haunts them. Aftershocks rattled the city as recently as Friday morning.
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"Sometimes they just start crying. We still get some movement," said Surena, who is also the local district chairman for Haiti's disaster relief agency.
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The conditions at his home are far from ideal. Plastic buckets serve as toilets, and for some patients Surena can do little more than change dressings on infected wounds. But they are better off then many in Port-au-Prince, the capital city of 3 million people. Surena earned his medical degree in Haiti and spent a year at the University of Illinois training in neonatology. He has been tending his ward with the help of two other doctors, including a Lake Worth, Florida-based gynecologist, Frantz Python, who was working in the area when the earthquake struck.
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Eighteen of their patients have died. No case hit Surena harder than a pregnant woman who died shortly after she started having contractions Tuesday night, likely from internal hemorrhaging. Despite a rudimentary Cesarean-section, they could not save the baby.
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"She was really suffering," Surena said. "The most difficult thing emotionally is that you know how to do it, but you don't have the materials do it."
The patients say they know Surena is doing his best.
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Florene Francois, 19, was trying to soothe her fussing 18-month-old son, Rick Joey, on blankets in a corner of the patio between Surena's grill and a built-in bar. She said she is fine despite the scrapes on her face, but she worries about a deep gash on the back of her son's head.
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"They just don't have what they need for the stitches," she said. A 39-year-old tailor, Roger Hubert, had bandages on wounds and a sling for a severely broken arm. His bones have not been reset because there is no X-ray machine available.
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"Considering the materials here, they are taking good care of us," Hubert said. The supplies of food, water and medicine were quickly running out. Surena drove himself to the airport Thursday after neighbors cleared away debris blocking the only road down the hill, but his hopes of finding help were dashed in the confusion of so many arriving aid flights.
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"So many planes. You don't know where to go and who to talk to," he said. Still, he is optimistic more help is coming. He said Rotary International has pledged to send supplies including shelter boxes for the patients, and he expects more doctors to come, too. Meanwhile, he keeps everyone at his house because they have nowhere else to go. He sent three patients in urgent need of surgery to a hospital on the airport road Thursday, but he took them back in after they were refused admission.
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"They would have left their bodies on the street," Surena said.

Good to hear from you Nathan, pass on your email to me at bryan@haitiinnovation.org

**In the face of the devastating earthquake in Haiti, Hesperian urges everyone to forward and distribute the following health materials in Haitian Creole and English to every relief worker, resident, and traveler already in or leaving for Haiti.
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*HEALTH MATERIALS AVAILABLE IN HAITIAN CREOLE:*
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Here is a link to the pdf of the Haitian Creole edition of Where There is No Doctor, also available as a printed book through our partners: 4 The World Resource Distributers
Tel: 417-862-4448
Fax: 417-863-9994
orders@4wrd.org
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Pdf of the Haitian Creole edition of Where Women Have No Doctor.
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Pdf of the Haitian Creole edition of Sanitation and Cleanliness booklet, produced by our partners at SOIL (Sustainable Organic Integrated Livelihoods)
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Here’s a link to our CHOLERA PREVENTION FACTSHEET, in English
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Hesperian expresses our deepest sympathies to those who have been directly and indirectly affected by this disaster. Natural disasters are made worse by our very human-made systems that impoverish people and deny their right to health. As we encourage you to donate to the relief effort, Hesperian recommends these organizations which have redoubled their work in Haiti to address this most recent catastrophe:
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Haiti Action Network's Haiti Emergency Relief Fund
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Partners in Health
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Grassroots International, Earthquake Relief Fund for Haiti
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Ingrid Hawkinson
Book Publicity and Promotions
Hesperian
Ingrid@hesperian.org

PORT-AU-PRINCE – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) is appealing for US$279 million to feed 2 million people and provide logistical support for a 6-month Emergency Operation in response to the devastating earthquake in Haiti.
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In the initial phase of the operation, WFP will provide one-week rations of ready-to-eat food to up to 2 million people who no longer have access to kitchens or cooking facilities;
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After the distribution of the ready-to-eat food rations, WFP will begin general distributions of basic food items such as rice, pulses and cooking oil to 2 million people;
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As soon as possible, WFP will move from general food distributions towards food for work activities that use food as an incentive for people to support reconstruction and rehabilitation work in areas damaged by the earthquake;
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WFP began food distributions in and around the capital, Port au Prince, in the immediate aftermath of the earthquake. Some 2900 people received high energy biscuits in Port au Prince on Thursday, and distributions are being scaled up in the coming days;
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WFP has deployed expert logistics and telecommunications teams in support of the coordinated humanitarian response to this disaster;
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WFP has established a logistics hub in neighbouring Dominican Republic and has begun acquiring logistical assets - such as mobile warehouses, trucks, helicopters and a coastal vessel;
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WFP is considering establishing a network of up to 200 kitchens in Port au Prince, with each providing up to 500 meals a day;
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Food assistance will be directed at vulnerable families that have lost their homes, families living in temporary shelters, and child-headed households;
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So far, WFP has received more than US$55 million from donor governments, and more than US$5 million from private companies;
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Government donors include the United States, Luxembourg, Italy, Greece, Australia, Colombia, and the United Nations Central Emergency Response Fund.
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WFP is the world's largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide. In 2010, WFP aims to feed more than 90 million people in 73 countries.
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WFP now provides RSS feeds to help journalists keep up with the latest press releases, videos and photos as they are published on WFP.org. For more details see: http://www.wfp.org/rss
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WFP has a dedicated ISDN line in Italy for quality two-way interviews with WFP officials.
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For more information please contact (email address: firstname.lastname@wfp.org):
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Alejandro Chicheri, WFP/Panama, Mob. +1 917 392 6159 or +507 6675 0617
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Elio Rujano, WFP/Panama, Tel. +507 317 3930, Mob. + 507 66179261
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Natasha Scripture, WFP/Rome, Tel. + 39 06 6513 3146, Mob. +39 340 466 3480
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Caroline Hurford, WFP/London, Tel. +44-20-72409001, Mob. +44-7968-008474
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Emilia Casella, WFP/Geneva, Tel. +41-22-9178564, Mob. +41-792857304
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Jennifer Parmelee, WFP/Washington, Tel. +1-202-6530010 ext. 1149, Mob. +1-202-4223383
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Bettina Luescher, WFP/New York, Tel. +1-646-5566909, Mob. +1-646-8241112

PORT-AU-PRINCE – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) is appealing for US$279 million to feed 2 million people and provide logistical support for a 6-month Emergency Operation in response to the devastating earthquake in Haiti.
.
In the initial phase of the operation, WFP will provide one-week rations of ready-to-eat food to up to 2 million people who no longer have access to kitchens or cooking facilities;
.
After the distribution of the ready-to-eat food rations, WFP will begin general distributions of basic food items such as rice, pulses and cooking oil to 2 million people;
.
As soon as possible, WFP will move from general food distributions towards food for work activities that use food as an incentive for people to support reconstruction and rehabilitation work in areas damaged by the earthquake;
.
WFP began food distributions in and around the capital, Port au Prince, in the immediate aftermath of the earthquake. Some 2900 people received high energy biscuits in Port au Prince on Thursday, and distributions are being scaled up in the coming days;
.
WFP has deployed expert logistics and telecommunications teams in support of the coordinated humanitarian response to this disaster;
.
WFP has established a logistics hub in neighbouring Dominican Republic and has begun acquiring logistical assets - such as mobile warehouses, trucks, helicopters and a coastal vessel;
.
WFP is considering establishing a network of up to 200 kitchens in Port au Prince, with each providing up to 500 meals a day;
.
Food assistance will be directed at vulnerable families that have lost their homes, families living in temporary shelters, and child-headed households;
.
So far, WFP has received more than US$55 million from donor governments, and more than US$5 million from private companies;
.
Government donors include the United States, Luxembourg, Italy, Greece, Australia, Colombia, and the United Nations Central Emergency Response Fund.
.
WFP is the world's largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide. In 2010, WFP aims to feed more than 90 million people in 73 countries.
.
WFP now provides RSS feeds to help journalists keep up with the latest press releases, videos and photos as they are published on WFP.org. For more details see: http://www.wfp.org/rss
.
WFP has a dedicated ISDN line in Italy for quality two-way interviews with WFP officials.
.
For more information please contact (email address: firstname.lastname@wfp.org):
.
Alejandro Chicheri, WFP/Panama, Mob. +1 917 392 6159 or +507 6675 0617
.
Elio Rujano, WFP/Panama, Tel. +507 317 3930, Mob. + 507 66179261
.
Natasha Scripture, WFP/Rome, Tel. + 39 06 6513 3146, Mob. +39 340 466 3480
.
Caroline Hurford, WFP/London, Tel. +44-20-72409001, Mob. +44-7968-008474
.
Emilia Casella, WFP/Geneva, Tel. +41-22-9178564, Mob. +41-792857304
.
Jennifer Parmelee, WFP/Washington, Tel. +1-202-6530010 ext. 1149, Mob. +1-202-4223383
.
Bettina Luescher, WFP/New York, Tel. +1-646-5566909, Mob. +1-646-8241112

Rebecca Winthrop, Co-Director, Center for Universal Education
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The Brookings Institution
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The horrific images of the death and destruction after Haiti’s massive earthquake are both a call to action for the international community to provide immediate humanitarian assistance, and a sad but urgent reminder of the importance of disaster preparedness and risk reduction. The 7.0 magnitude earthquake struck the impoverished country late Tuesday afternoon just outside Port-au-Prince, Haiti’s capital. The quake was the worst in the region in more than 200 years. A day after the quake, there was no estimate on casualties, but thousands of people are believed to be dead.
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The quake left the country in shambles, without electricity or phone service, tangling efforts to provide relief to an estimated 3 million people whom the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies said had been affected by the quake.
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While the horrors of the disaster are still unfolding, several realities have become clear. First, Haiti, which has suffered decades of conflict, poor governance and crippling poverty, needs immediate assistance from the international community. President Obama, Secretary Clinton, and other U.S. officials have responded immediately, pledging support, organizing assistance and finding ways to quickly deploy search and rescue teams and deliver relief and reconstruction aid.
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Getting international assistance to Haiti, a small tropical island in the Caribbean, is not easy since the airport is barely functional, with the air traffic control system knocked out and destroyed roads leading to and from it. But the international community appears to be working closely together to do their best.
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In relative terms, the international community responds fairly well to humanitarian emergencies caused by natural disasters once the disaster has occurred. However, the international community performs quite poorly in helping countries prepare for those disasters and implement strategies to minimize death and destruction. The field of disaster risk reduction is certainly growing and there are numerous strategies (many of them low-cost) that can be used to make, for example, construction of buildings – especially schools and hospitals – safer and less prone to collapse when disasters do hit. The Inter-Agency Network for Education in Emergencies – Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery guidelines on safer school construction is an excellent example of these types of strategies.
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Still, global funding for disaster risk reduction is woefully low. Official assistance commitments from all donor countries for disaster prevention and preparedness totaled a mere $339.5 million in 2008, compared to the $9,548.6 million official donors spent on emergency response that same year, according to the OECD statistical database. This is not enough to meet the needs of disaster prevention and preparedness. The number of natural disasters has increased, with current averages of 400-500 per year in 2007 compared to the average of 125 in the early 1980s. In 2009 alone, 55 million people were affected by extreme weather, causing $15 billion in economic damages.
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Indeed, with internal improvements and assistance from the office of the U.N. Special Envoy to Haiti, amongst others, the situation in Haiti is improving and a disaster risk reduction plan is in the works. However, the earthquake in Haiti is a poignant and heartbreaking reminder for the U.S. and international community of the need to invest in disaster preparedness.

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton announced today the launch of a new tool on www.state.gov, the “Person Finder,” to allow people to find and share information on missing loved ones in Haiti.
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The tool can be found at http://www.state.gov/haitiquake.
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People around the world are turning to the Internet to search for information on friends and family in Haiti: however, accurate information is fragmented and difficult to locate. The State Department convened a call with NGOs and the tech community to brainstorm how to innovatively utilize technology in the ongoing search and rescue efforts. As a result of the call, a group of engineers from the private, public, and NGO sectors come together to build the “Person Finder.” It is a simple tool that allows people to locate and contribute information on people in Haiti. This tool is available in French and English, and can be embedded on any website.
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In addition to helping people find their loved ones, this tool will make the data accessible to other governments and private organizations in an easily manageable and accessible format.
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Anyone wishing to donate can text “HAITI” to “90999” and $10.00 will be sent to the Red Cross.

Jonathan Katz (AP)
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LEOGANE, Haiti – As aid masses in Haiti's devastated capital, time is running out in rural areas where the damage is no less severe. In Leogane, frustrated men gathered Saturday with machetes and clubs, ready to fight for a town they said the world has forgotten.
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All along the cracked highway heading west from Port-au-Prince along the bay, people begged for help. "SOS," declared a sign near Leogane. "We don't understand why everything is going to Port-au-Prince, because Leogane was broken too."
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That is putting it lightly. Leogane's city center is a rubble pile spiderwebbed with fallen power lines, coastal Haiti re-landscaped as a post-apocalyptic film set. Two mass graves line the road to the capital, a few yellowed bodies thrown in to start a third.
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At the corner of Rue La Croix and Pere Thevenot, a charming two-story built in 1922 that housed a pharmacy and a florist last week is a brickyard sepulcher for the couple who died trying to escape.
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Blocks away a group of men gathered to defend a health clinic-turned-shelter against all comers: The local government, which wants to dig another mass grave there, criminals loosed from the capital's broken penitentiary, and looters as hungry as they are.
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They said they do not want violence, but carried machetes, typical of this sugar-growing town, and clutched wooden pins and poles.
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"There is no one in the police station. We haven't seen aid," said 28-year-old Philip Pierre, who manages a yogurt plant. "We are ready to die fighting if they don't listen to us."
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Death has done brisk business here already, in a town where roaming Carnival bands were just getting in gear when the quake struck Tuesday, its epicenter just 12 miles (25 kms) to the east.
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The stench emanating from rubble is intense, and among the residents' demands are the "big shovels" working in the capital to excavate bodies.
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In a charitable move, casket-maker Yvon Lochard put his wares on sale, dropping the price of a wooden coffin from $450 to $100.
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"Before business was slow," he said matter-of-factly. "Now I'm selling these quickly."
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Even Lochard's prices, however, are too steep for most in a country where half the population lives on $1 a day. They carry their bodies atop pieces of tin and drop them in a mass grave.
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The living, meanwhile, are trying hard to stay that way. There is food in the markets, but the price of a 50-pound bag of rice has risen about 25 percent to $27.50 since the quake struck. In the mountains that ring the town, cisterns broke, leaving many without drinking water.
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A nearly collapsed corner store had $6,000 worth of rice, spaghetti and other food in the basement, its owner said, but he was too scared of collapse to go in and get it, despite increasingly terse demands from neighbors that he do so.
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U.N. peacekeepers from Sri Lanka were delivering water to about 1,000 people and sharing their own rations, Maj. Chandima Beligasooabba said. They were told the U.N. would be bringing in food supplies later Saturday.
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A team from Kansas City, Missouri-based Crisis Response International roamed the downtown area near the structurally unstable Sainte Croix Hospital, looking for any non-governmental organization to give supplies to. None was immediately apparent.
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Within Leogane, individual neighborhoods are on the lookout against each other. Leaders of each suspect the others might get violent — but promise they won't start trouble themselves.
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The first few protesters straggling into the streets were tense. One machete-wielding young man briefly collapsed from what his neighbors said was hypertension. And as the daze wears off from the shock wave that hit the town, older frustrations and the ordinary complications of Haitian life are creeping back in.
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"If the international community gives the government money, we're going to take to the streets," 51-year-old Maximillian Alfred said. "They won't do anything with it for the community."

Associated Press Writers Alfred De Montesquiou And Mike Melia, Associated Press Writers
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PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti – Precious water, food and early glimmers of hope began reaching parched and hungry earthquake survivors Saturday on the streets of the ruined Haitian capital, but the island's despair threatened to spark a frenzy in places.
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"People are so desperate for food that they are going crazy," said accountant Henry Ounche, standing in a crowd of hundreds who fought one another as U.S. military helicopters clattered overhead carrying aid.
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Across the hilly, steamy city, people choked on the stench of death, and hope faded by the hour for finding many more victims alive in the rubble, four days after Tuesday's catastrophic earthquake.
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Still, here and there, the murmur of buried victims spurred rescue crews on, even as aftershocks threatened to finish off crumbling buildings.
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"No one's alive in there," a woman sobbed outside the wrecked Montana Hotel.
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But hope wouldn't die. "We can hear a survivor!" search crew chief Alexander Luque of Namibia later reported. His men dug on.
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Nobody knew how many were dead. In a fresh estimate, the Pan American Health Organization said 50,000 to 100,000 people perished in the quake. Haiti's prime minister, Jean-Max Bellerive, told The Associated Press that 100,000 would "seem to be the minimum." Truckloads of corpses were being trundled to mass graves.
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A U.N. humanitarian spokeswoman declared the quake the worst disaster the international organization has ever faced, since so much government and U.N. capacity in the country was demolished. In that way, Elisabeth Byrs said in Geneva, it's worse than the cataclysmic Asian tsunami of 2004: "Everything is damaged."
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Also Saturday, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arrived in Port-au-Price to pledge more American assistance, and President Obama met with former Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton to urge Americans to donate to Haiti relief efforts.
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The U.N. also announced that the body of Haiti mission chief Hedi Annabi had been found in the rubble of collapsed headquarters.
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Yet, despite the obstacles, the pace of aid delivery was picking up.
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The Haitian government had established 14 distribution points for food and other supplies, and U.S. Army helicopters were reconnoitering for more. With eight city hospitals destroyed or damaged, aid groups opened five emergency health centers. Vital gear, such as water-purification units, was arriving from abroad.
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On a hillside golf course overlooking the stricken capital, paratroopers of the U.S. 82nd Airborne Division set up a base for handing out water and food.
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After the initial frenzy among the waiting crowd, when helicopters could only hover and toss out their cargo, a second flight landed and soldiers passed food out to an orderly line of Haitians.
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More American help was on the way: The U.S. Navy hospital ship Comfort steamed from the port of Baltimore on Saturday and was scheduled to arrive here Thursday. More than 2,000 Marines were set to sail from North Carolina, to support aid delivery and provide security.
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Hillary Clinton offered assurances that the U.S. would be "as responsive as we need to be."
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But for the estimated 300,000 newly homeless in the streets, plazas and parks of Port-au-Prince, help was far from assured.
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"They're already starting to deliver food and water, but it's mayhem. People are hungry, everybody is asking for water," said Alain Denis, a resident of the Thomassin district.
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Denis's home was intact, and he and his elderly parents have some reserves, but, he said, "in a week, I don't know."
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Aid delivery was still bogged down by congestion at the Port-au-Prince airport, quake damage at the seaport, poor roads and the fear of looters and robbers.
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The problems at the overloaded airport forced a big Red Cross aid mission to strike out overland from Santo Domingo, almost 200 miles away in the Dominican Republic. The convoy included up to 10 trucks carrying temporary shelters, a 50-bed field hospital and some 60 medical specialists.
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"It's not possible to fly anything into Port-au-Prince right now. The airport is completely congested," Red Cross spokesman Paul Conneally said from the Dominican capital.
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Another convoy from the Dominican Republic steered toward a U.N. base in Port-au-Prince without stopping, its leaders fearful of sparking a riot if they handed out aid themselves.
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The airport congestion touched off diplomatic rows between the U.S. military and other donor nations.
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France and Brazil both lodged official complaints that the U.S. military, in control of the international airport, had denied landing permission to relief flights from their countries.
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Defense Minister Nelson Jobim, who has 7,000 Brazilian U.N. peacekeeping troops in Haiti, warned against viewing the rescue effort as a unilateral American mission.
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The squabbling prompted Haitian President Rene Preval, speaking with the AP, to urge all to "keep our cool and coordinate and not throw accusations."
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At a simpler level, unending logistical difficulties dogged the relief effort.
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A commercial-sized jet landed with rescue and medical teams from Qatar, only to find problems offloading food aid. They asked the U.S. military for help, surgeon Dr. Mootaz Aly said, and were told: "We're busy."
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As relief teams grappled with on-the-ground obstacles, the U.S. leadership promised to step up aid efforts. In Washington, Obama joined with his two most recent White House predecessors to appeal for Americans to donate to the cause.
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"We stand united with the people of Haiti, who have shown such incredible resilience," he said.
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Their resilience was truly being tested, however.
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On a back street in Port-au-Prince, a half-dozen young men ripped water pipes off walls to suck out the few drops inside. "This is very, very bad, but I am too thirsty," said Pierre Louis Delmar.
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Outside a warehouse, hundreds of desperate Haitians simply dropped to their knees when workers for the agency Food for the Poor announced they would distribute rice, beans and other supplies. "They started praying right then and there," said project director Clement Belizaire.
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Children and the elderly were asked to step first into line, and some 1,500 people got food, soap and rubber sandals until supplies ran out, he said.
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The aid official was overcome by the tragic scene. "This was the darkest day of everybody living in Port-au-Prince," he said.

BY TRENTON DANIEL AND ANDRES VIGLUCCI
aviglucci@MiamiHerald.com
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The roads to Jacmel are blocked and the only way to travel is by foot or motorcycle.
While the world's attention focused on earthquake-ravaged Port-au-Prince, a catastrophe of parallel magnitude has been unfolding in isolation on the country's southern coast, which the quake left littered with smashed buildings and extensive casualties.
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Stranded and increasingly desperate residents of Jacmel, a quaint, historic Caribbean port city that suffered widespread damage and has been cut off from Port-au-Prince to the north, complain they have been forgotten. Four days after the quake struck Jacmel with equal force, they say they are still awaiting food, water, medical supplies and relief workers.
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``We need so much help because there are a lot of people injured at the hospital, because there are a lot of bodies under the buildings,'' said Phen Lafondse, 34, an electrician.
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In scene after scene that eerily echoes the destruction seen the world over in Port-au-Prince, two-story buildings throughout downtown Jacmel -- a tourism center of some 40,000 people known for its art, French Colonial architecture and a spellbinding carnival -- have been reduced to concrete rubble. Residents walk through the streets with bandannas covering their faces because of the pervasive odor of decomposition that hangs over the city.
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A vocational and auto-repair school, the Eunasmoh Institute, points to the severity of the local disaster: At least 100 students were crushed when the building collapsed in the quake, neighbors said. The trapped bodies of the victims could still be seen Friday, crushed arms and stiff legs protruding from the ruins.
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But piles of dirt and fallen boulders block the narrow, winding road through the mountains from Port-au-Prince to Jacmel, and residents say help has yet to make it through. They wonder if the outside world is even aware of what happened here.
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Miami Herald journalists who provided the first news accounts out of Jacmel traveled to the city Friday from Port-au-Prince partway by car, briefly hiked closer to the city on foot and entered on motorcycle taxis Jacmel is known for. Before dusk fell Friday, a government bulldozer had begun working to clear the road.
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The epicenter of Tuesday's quake was located between Jacmel and Port-au-Prince, which are about 25 miles apart. The destruction in Jacmel may have initially escaped outside notice because of U.N. briefings that said damage from the quake appeared mostly restricted to Port-au-Prince.
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The desperation in Jacmel is perhaps nowhere more evident than at a makeshift medical treatment facility in the city center. Forced here after the adjacent hospital suffered severe damage, doctors and local relief workers scrambled to treat more than 100 victims.
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``Tomorrow, the medicine, everything we have, is going to be gone,'' said Jean Prophete Baptichon, a hospital administrator.
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Doctors and relief workers say they've seen about 300 patients since the quake. Six people, including two children, died from injuries, they said.
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As they wrap bandages on broken arms and legs, doctors resort to improvisation -- an ophthalmologist, for example, treats fractured bones and concocts splints with what he can.
And they worry that the hospital next door could collapse at any moment. Tremors from an aftershock rattled Jacmel for a few seconds Friday afternoon and sent people dashing away from buildings still standing.
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They worry about the generator running out of fuel. And they worry about running empty on medical supplies, medicine and antibiotics.
There is a small relief presence in Jacmel -- many of them here since before the earthquake -- but it in no way matches the size of that in Port-au-Prince.
UNICEF workers are trying to coordinate with authorities in the neighboring Dominican Republic to helicopter in medicine and other supplies. They also may evacuate patients to the Dominican Republic.
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`It's almost impossible to send people to Port-au-Prince,'' said Tameka Donatien, a UNICEF coordinator from Cameroon. ``It's a complete mess and we don't want to complicate things.''
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In fact, some injured residents of Port-au-Prince fled the city for treatment in Jacmel. Brothers Vladimir and Stanley Desir opted to bear hours of agony and took motorcycle taxis to Jacmel, where they have family, after their Port-au-Prince home came down on them. Two sisters died.
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``The hospitals in Port-au-Prince couldn't help us,'' said Vladimir, 24, a student.
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The city's near-destruction may prove especially troubling for Haiti's future because it was widely seen as one of the impoverished nation's few bright spots. Picturesque and long regarded as the safest city in Haiti, Jacmel had managed to keep a steady tourism trade going even as international visitors avoided the rest of the country -- enough to establish annual film and music festivals.
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Just this month, the announcement that Choice Hotels International, owners of Comfort Inn, would be franchising its brand to two hotels in Jacmel was hailed as a sign of optimism and growing foreign investment interest.
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But at least one of the city's leading small inns, The Florita Hotel, a New Orleans-style house built of brick in 1888, was heavily damaged, with half of the structure lying in a heap. It was one of several surviving period homes in Jacmel.
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``It survived a lot of hurricanes, including some bad storms last year, but this earthquake did it in,'' said owner Joe Cross by phone from New Jersey, where he was when the quake hit. ``Jacmel was by far the nicest town in Haiti, and this was one of the sturdiest of the old houses -- but I don't know how charming it is now.''
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Five resident staff members have been sleeping outside the hotel for fear the rest would collapse, though neither workers nor some 15 guests suffered any serious injuries, Cross said.
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``Jacmel is going to require a lot of time before it comes back to normal,'' said Jean-Ruid Senatus, La Florita's manager, outside the shattered inn.
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Stranded tourists and missionaries, meanwhile, were trying to map exit plans amid a growing and worrisome shortage of food, water and fuel.
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At the 32-room Hotel Cap Lamandou -- one of the hotels slated to become a Comfort Inn -- some 30 church-group workers and a few Haitian tourists were holed up until they could find a safe way out.
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Melanie Piard, a graphic designer from Montreal, came to Haiti to bury her mother and headed to
Jacmel afterward for some respite from bereavement. But then the earthquake happened.
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Piard said she and her family learned of relief efforts under way in Port-au-Prince on the Internet.
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``But what about us?'' asked Piard, 30. ``We're stuck here.'' Daniel reported from Jacmel and Viglucci from Miami.

BY FRANCES ROBLES AND JACQUELINE CHARLES
frobles@MiamiHerald.com
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PORT-AU-PRINCE -- Jasmine Pierre and 10 members of her family have been camped out in a park since Tuesday. She has not seen any food deliveries, spotted rescue workers or noticed any signs of international relief.
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``Nobody is coming,'' she said. ``I think only God is in charge. The government should be here, any government. There is no government in the palace right now. I don't even really know if Haiti has a government today.''
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U.S. Southern Command in Miami reported Friday afternoon that some aid was finally trickling into the ravaged city of 2 million.
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But the 22-year-old's feelings of frustration were shared by many aid workers, relief agencies and medics, who say that three full days after an earthquake devastated this nation it is still not clear who is in charge of relief efforts.
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Nobody had seen any. No single federal government office building is still standing, and officials are looking for a proper headquarters from which to organize relief operations, first lady Elizabeth Préval said.Some Haitian leaders lost their lives. Others lost family or property, leaving a grief-stricken leadership awaiting an international community that Friday was still mobilizing to fill the void.
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``The government seems to be just waiting for help,'' said Gregory Gue, a Jacmel doctor who came to Port-au-Prince to volunteer for the Red Cross and was aghast at the conditions he encountered.
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``People die waiting for help. I am angry. Angry, but everyone is also very sad. It is clear the government had no emergency plan.''
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Gue was providing aid Friday to the injured, including a woman who needed an emergency C-section to remove her dead 8-month-old fetus. He was working out of a muddy parking lot.
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Prime Minister Jean-Max Bellerive, however, defended the pace of progress. ``The international community reacted quite quickly in view of the circumstances and the scale of the hit,'' he said.
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``Everyone is still today in the streets -- and that includes the government. Because three-quarters of the government buildings are destroyed, that doesn't mean the government isn't doing its work.''
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Moreover, starting a day after the quake, Bellerive said, the remnants of the government held morning coordination meetings with U.N. representatives, foreign ambassadors and international agencies.
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Still, the outlook was grim from the ground. Businessman Gesner Champaigne said he has 16 trucks ready to distribute 600,000 gallons of water a day. On Thursday, the government used just four trucks.
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``We don't know who is doing what. Where is the nerve center?'' he said. ``There is a lot of confusion.'' He said the main delay was over security. It would be foolhardy for Champaigne to show up unescorted in quake-ravaged areas desperate for water.
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``We found out that, as far as a police force goes, it is gone,'' said Champaigne's sister Sophia Mortelly, who runs a foundation here. ``We are going to knock on the United Nations' door.''
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U.N. headquarters in the Christopher Hotel collapsed during the earthquake. The United Nations has confirmed that 37 are dead and more than 300 are still missing, including the chief of mission.
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The first lady, who served as an advisor to president René Préval, acknowledged that aid distribution has been ``very slow.''
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``We have a lot of people who have not eaten in three days,'' she said. `I don't know whether the amount of food is insufficient or there is a problem with who is handling it. This has been a major trauma, even for the ministers handling the crisis.''
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Many ministers lost family and their chiefs of staff, she said. ``The challenge is to distribute food soon so that we do not have violence,'' she said. ``The Parliament collapsed, the Justice Palace collapsed, the National Palace collapsed,'' Preval said. ``Those are the three symbols of state and those are all collapsed.''
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As Haitian officials cope with their own devastating losses -- the finance minister's son died -- aid workers say it appears nobody in the Haitian government or the international community has stepped in to take charge.
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Interior Minister Paul Antoine Bien-Aime acknowledged the breakdown, saying that traditionally the U.N. Stabilization Force coordinated relief efforts.
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``There is no leader emerging from anywhere,'' said longtime aid worker Regine Alexandre. ``You have that sense of statelessness. Maybe people are too weak to give a strong sense of direction.''
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Audry Mullings, a spokeswoman for the International Federation of the Red Cross, said emergency relief mobile units that were expected Thursday were rerouted when their plane was not allowed to land. They were expected late Friday.
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``This is quite a peculiar disaster,'' she said. She could not say what agency or ministry was organizing relief efforts or giving orders.
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``I can tell you the Haitian Red Cross has been hard at work since the earthquake took place,'' she said

By BILL CLINTON and GEORGE W. BUSH
Published: January 16, 2010
New York Times
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This weekend, President Obama asked us to spearhead private-sector fund-raising efforts in the aftermath of the magnitude 7.0 earthquake that ravaged Haiti. We are pleased to answer his call.
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hroughout both our careers in public service, we have witnessed firsthand the amazing generosity of the American people in the face of calamity. From the Oklahoma City bombings to 9/11, from the tsunami in South Asia to Hurricane Katrina, Americans have rallied to confront disaster — natural or man-made, domestic or abroad — with the determination, compassion and unity that have defined our nation since its founding.
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After the tsunami, Americans gave more than $1 billion to help the people of South Asia. The recent earthquake in Haiti is estimated to have had an impact on nearly three million people — 30 percent of Haiti’s population. We know the American people will respond again. Just as any of us would reach out to a neighbor in need here at home, we will do everything we can to give aid, care and comfort to our neighbors in the Caribbean, now and in the months and years to come.
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With advances in technology, giving to relief efforts is easier than ever before. Organizations like the Red Cross have been stunned at the amount of money pouring in through an innovative fund-raising effort that allows cellphone users to text a $10 donation that will be added to their cellphone bills. The State Department raised more than $1 million in the first 24 hours, with millions more coming in the days since the earthquake. This money is being channeled to reliable charities with long experience in disaster relief, ensuring that Americans’ contributions are put to effective use.
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Our first priority will be to raise funds to meet the urgent needs of those who are hurt, homeless and hungry, and to ensure that the organizations and relief workers on the ground have the resources to do their jobs effectively. In the first two weeks, the needs are very simple: food, water, shelter, first aid supplies. Once relief workers have gone through all the rubble and every person — living and dead — has been recovered, once the streets have been cleared and communications and power restored, then Haiti is going to have to get back on its feet again.
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It’s a long road to full recovery, but we will not leave the Haitian people to walk it alone. When the rebuilding begins, we will need even more support to make Haiti stronger than ever before: new, better schools; sturdier, more secure buildings that can withstand future natural disasters; solutions that address the inequalities in health care and education; new, diverse industries that create jobs and foster opportunities for greater trade; and development of clean energy.
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There are great reasons to hope. For the first time in our lifetimes, Haiti’s government is committed to building a modern economy, and it has a comprehensive economic plan to create jobs. Haitian leaders have shown determination in confronting the challenges of AIDS, with strong support from private organizations and the Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief. Per capita, there are more nongovernmental organizations in Haiti than in any other country except India. The members of the Haitian diaspora, in Miami, New York, Toronto and other cities overseas, are involved in and committed to the future of their native country. And the world’s attention is focused on this tiny island nation that has been overlooked for too long.
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Crises have the power to bring out the best in people, and we have seen many examples of this over the years, especially after the tsunami. Conflict in Aceh, Indonesia, was laid to rest while people focused on rebuilding together. In communities along the Indian coast, women who had lost their husbands learned marketable skills like arts and crafts and emerged better able to provide for themselves and their children than they were before the disaster.
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We should never forget the damage done and the lives lost, but we have a chance to do things better than we once did; be a better neighbor than we once were; and help the Haitian people realize their dream for a stronger, more secure nation. But we need more than just support from governments — we need the innovation and resources of businesses; the skills and the knowledge of nongovernmental organizations, including faith-based groups; and the generosity and support of individuals to fill in the gaps. Visit www.clintonbushhaitifund.org to make a donation and learn more about our efforts. It’s the least we can do, and the least the people of Haiti deserve. At our best, we can help Haiti become its best.
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Bill Clinton was the 42nd president of the United States. George W. Bush was the 43rd president.

Four food distributions in and around Port-au-Prince on Saturday reached 39,000 beneficiaries, giving out nearly 20 metric tons of High Energy Biscuits. On Sunday, we aim to reach some 60,000 people.
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One of Saturday's distributions was in Leogane, west of Port-au-Prince, near earthquake epicentre. It was the first food to reach this area where nearly all buildings were destroyed and tens of thousands are reported dead.
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We have started the distribution of hot meals in some places, such as hospitals and schools. We have also begun to set up kitchens in distribution sites.
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A plane carrying High Energy Biscuits (HEBs) from El Salvador has landed in Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic. HEBs have been loaded onto trucks and are currently being transported to Port-au-Prince. Another plane is about to leave El Salvador with more HEBs.
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A third plane carrying non-food items (wikhals, generators and other humanitarian cargo from UNICEF) departed from Panama on Saturday. Cargo was from UNHRD Panama. This cargo was free of charge thanks to Ericsson. The two previous flights were sponsored by the Spanish Cooperation.
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Three IT emergency responders are on their way to Haiti re-establish communication facilities for WFP and the entire humanitarian community as part of WFP's Emergency Telecommunication Cluster mandate. They will be joining two IT officers already in Port-au-Prince

Andrew Cawthorne and Catherine Bremer
Sun Jan 17, 2010 8:18am (Reuters)
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PORT-AU-PRINCE (Reuters) - World leaders pledged aid to rebuild a devastated Haiti, but on the streets of its wrecked capital earthquake survivors were still waiting on Sunday for the basics: food, water and medicine.
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Five days after a 7.0 magnitude quake killed up to 200,000 people, international rescue teams were still finding people alive under the rubble of collapsed buildings in Port-au-Prince.
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Hundreds of thousands of hungry Haitians were desperately waiting for help, but logistical logjams kept major relief from reaching most victims, many of them sheltering in makeshift camps on streets strewn with debris and decomposing bodies.
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In the widespread absence of authority, looters swarmed over collapsed stores on the city's shattered main commercial boulevard, carrying off T-shirts, bags, toys and anything else they could find. Fighting broke out between groups of looters carrying knives, ice-picks, hammers and rocks.
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Many Haitians streamed out of the city on foot with suitcases on their heads or jammed in cars to find food and shelter in the countryside, and flee aftershocks and violence.
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Many others crowded the airport hoping to get on planes that left packed with Haitians.
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President Barack Obama promised help as U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton flew on Saturday to Haiti, where the shell-shocked government gave the United States control over the congested main airport to guide aid flights from around the world.
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"We're moving forward with one of the largest relief efforts in our history to save lives and deliver relief that averts an even larger catastrophe," said Obama, flanked at the White House by predecessors George W. Bush and Bill Clinton, who will lead a charity drive to help Haiti.
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But on the streets of Port-au-Prince, where scarce police patrols fired occasional shots and tear gas to try to disperse looters, the distribution of aid appeared random, chaotic and minimal. Downtown, young men could be seen carrying pistols.
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And heavily armed gang members who once ran Haiti's largest slum, Cite Soleil, like warlords returned with a vengeance after the quake damaged the National Penitentiary allowing 3,000 inmates to break out.
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"It's only natural that they would come back here. This has always been their stronghold," said a Haitian police officer in the teeming warren of shacks, alleys and open sewers that is home to more than 300,000 people.
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There were jostling scrums for food and water as U.S. military helicopters swooped down to throw out boxes of water bottles and rations. A reporter also saw foreign aid workers tossing packets of food to desperate Haitians.
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"The distribution is totally disorganized. They are not identifying the people who need the water. The sick and the old have no chance," said Estime Pierre Deny, standing at the back of a crowd looking for water with his empty plastic container.
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Haiti is the Western Hemisphere's poorest country and has for decades struggled with devastating storms, floods and political unrest. Around 9,000 U.N. peacekeepers have provided security here since a 2004 uprising ousted one president.
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Looting has been sporadic since Tuesday's earthquake, which flattened large parts of the capital. But it appeared to widen on Saturday as people became more desperate.
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The U.N. mission responsible for security in Haiti lost at least 40 of its members when its headquarters collapsed. The United Nations said the mission's chief, Hedi Annabi of Tunisia, his deputy Luiz Carlos da Costa of Brazil and the U.N. police commissioner in Haiti, Doug Coates of Canada, were killed.
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Aftershocks still shook the capital, terrifying survivors and sending rubble and dust tumbling from buildings. Dramatizing the need to keep up rescue efforts, three people were pulled out alive from a supermarket early Sunday. U.S. and Turkish teams freed a 7-year-old Haitian girl, a Haitian man and an American woman from the rubble of the five-story building, Reuters photographer Carlos Rawlins said.
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They were dazed but did not appear to be seriously injured. Rescuers had been ready to give up at the site on Saturday, until they were told that a supermarket cashier had managed to call someone in Miami to say she was still alive inside. As many as 100 more people could have been trapped inside the collapsed market.
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On Saturday, a Russian team pulled out two Haitian girls still alive -- 9-year-old Olon Remi and 11-year-old Senviol Ovri -- from the ruins of a house.
Trucks piled with corpses have been ferrying bodies to hurriedly excavated mass graves outside the city, but thousands of bodies are still believed buried under the rubble.
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Interior Minister Paul Antoine Bien-Aime said around 50,000 bodies had already been collected and the final death toll will likely be between 100,000 and 200,000. Dozens of bloated bodies have been dumped in the yard outside the main hospital on Saturday, decomposing in the sun. The hospital gardens were a mass of beds with injured people, with makeshift drips hanging from trees.
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The weakened Haitian government is in no position to handle the crisis alone. The quake destroyed the presidential palace and knocked out communications and power. President Rene Preval is living and working from the judicial police headquarters.
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Hillary Clinton told Haitians the United States will ensure their country emerges "stronger and better" from the disaster. "We will be here today, tomorrow and for the time ahead," she said after meeting Preval at the airport.
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The U.S. State Department confirmed 15 Americans had died in the temblor, including one of its employees in Haiti. Dozens of countries have sent planes with rescue teams, doctors, tents, food, medicine and other supplies, but faced a bottleneck at Port-au-Prince's small airport.
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The American Red Cross said 50-bed field hospitals and water purification equipment that were rerouted to neighboring Dominican Republic arrived by truck convoy, allowing it to start distributing water and first aid in Port-au-Prince.
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Air traffic control in Port-au-Prince, hampered by damage to the airport's tower, was taken over by the U.S. military with backup from the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson, which arrived off Haiti on Friday. Navy helicopters are taking water and rations ashore and ferrying injured people to a field hospital near the airport.
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The Pan American Health Organization said at least eight hospitals and health centers in Port-au-Prince had collapsed or sustained damage and were unable to function. The president of the Inter-American Development Bank, Luis Alberto Moreno, will visit Haiti on Monday and attend a donors meeting in the Dominican Republic to start analyzing Haiti's reconstruction needs, a bank spokesman said.
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(Reporting by Tom Brown, Joseph Guyler Delva and Eduardo Munoz in Port-au-Prince, Andrew Quinn in Washington and Patrick Worsnip at the United Nations; writing by Anthony Boadle and Jane Sutton; editing by Eric Beech)

CHICAGO (AFP) – Haiti and its neighbors must prepare themselves for more massive quakes after the devastating tremors this week increased pressure along a lengthy fault line, scientists warned Friday.
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Paul Mann, a senior research scientist at the Institute for Geophysics at the University of Texas at Austin, warned that just because the rebuilding process had started people shouldn't assume the risk was over.
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"This relief of stress along this area near Port-au-Prince may have actually increased stress in the adjacent segments on the fault," he told AFP.
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Researchers have already begun to work on models to try to predict how the stress changes resulting from the 7.0-magnitude quake which struck Tuesday is affecting the adjacent segments of the fault.
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"This fault system is hundreds of kilometers long and the segment that ruptured to form this ear quake is only 80 kilometers long," Mann said in a telephone interview.
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"There are many more segments which are building up strain where there haven't been earthquakes for hundreds of years.
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"Potentially any one of these segments could cause an earthquake similar to that which happened in Haiti."
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There are, thankfully, only two major population centers along the fault: Port-au-Prince and Kingston, Jamaica.
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But as demonstrated in the chaos which followed Tuesday's tremor, the impact of a quake of that magnitude can be "paralyzing," Mann said.
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Adding to the danger is the fact that the segment which broke was not among those closest to Port-au-Prince. And there is a second fault system in the north of Haiti which extends to the Dominican Republic which has not ruptured in 800 years and has built up sufficient pressure for a 7.5 magnitude quake.
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"The question is when are those going to rupture," Mann said, adding that it is very difficult to predict "whether or not that's going to happen next week or 100 years."
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Eric Calais, a French geophysicist who works at Purdue University in Indiana, is among those trying to assess the danger.
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He had warned Haitian officials years ago of dangerous pressure in the fault which caused this week's devastating quake, but little could be done to reinforce the desperately poor nation's weak buildings.
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"The Haitian government is not to blame in this," Calais told AFP.
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"They listened to us carefully and they knew what the hazard was. They were very concerned about it and they were taking steps. But it just happened too early."
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Calais began researching the fault line in 2003 and soon took his initial findings to the Haitian government, even meeting with the prime minister.
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In March 2008 he and Mann presented a paper showing that the fault had built up sufficient pressure to cause a 7.2 magnitude quake.
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But they could not pinpoint when the quake might strike and the government was occupied with recovering from a series of four hurricanes which struck that year.
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While the government had begun work on an emergency response plan, little could be done to retrofit and strengthen key buildings such as hospitals, schools and government buildings from which rescue operations could be organized.
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"It's a poor country," Calais said. "Strengthening a building to resist a large earthquake can be as costly as replacing the building."
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The devastation will allow Haiti to rebuild stronger than before, Calais said, noting that there are relatively cheap engineering solutions that can be applied to ensure that new buildings will not collapse in the next quake.
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"It's very important for Port-au-Prince to rebuild properly," he added. "There are other segments of that fault that could rupture in the future."

http://haiticrisis.appspot.com/
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"...People Finder allows the Haitian diaspora to check the status of loved ones while also allowing relief organizations a common back-end to store data. The launch was announced by US Secretary of State Clinton and we're seeing considerable activity for both information on missing persons as well as
requests for information. We're hoping this proves to be genuinely valuable."

BY JACQUELINE CHARLES AND AUDRA D.S. BURCH
aburch@MiamiHerald.com
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When night falls, the 20 young men gather the megaphones and begin patrolling the rocky soccer field in the Marie Therese neighborhood, keeping vigil over this makeshift village of 1,500 mothers, fathers and babies, all earthquake survivors.
They walk this field where the dead rest in the shadows. As the day slips into night, others sing spiritual hymns. Oh Lord My God, when I in awesome wonder. Consider all the worlds, Thy hands have made . . .
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Five days after the earthquake, Haiti is surviving mostly on faith, fortitude and self-reliance born of years of war, hunger, political corruption and a series of natural disasters.
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``The entire system has been hit,'' said Evens Exantus, 32, one of the self-made soldiers of the camp. ``The people who usually give help are homeless. We are doing what we can with what we have.''
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Here in Marie Therese, on the outskirts of Pétionville, where the soccer field sits in a valley surrounded by cinderblock homes, the men have organized themselves into a brigade that governs, polices and protects those living in the camp. They have collected the equivalent of $12 to help pay for water and fuel to operate a tiny generator.
And they took charge of finding help. The top priority now is moving the 50 decomposing corpses from the yard of a closed hospital shouldering the field.
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Already the stench is heavy and smothering, but the fear of disease is even more powerful.
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``In Creole, there is a proverb that says, `Grés kochon ki kwit kochon','' said Exantus, ``that is what we are living by.''
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The saying, popularized during the era of the Duvalier family dictatorship, means ``the pork has to cook by its own fat.''
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Translation: ``We have to do it for ourselves.''
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Years of tragedy has forged Haiti's national character.
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``Our strength, our drive, our spirit comes from our history,'' said Jean Lot St. Gervais, who heads a Miami-Dade-based Haitian education foundation. `We will die trying, so if you ask us, `Will Haiti come back?' The answer is absolutely.''
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Less than two years ago, a staggering string of hurricanes and floods gouged the island -- already economically and socially frail -- leaving towns cloaked in water and mud. Some 800 people were killed and tens of thousands were left homeless -- living in the streets, on rooftops, and in some cases, back in their own broken, muck-encased homes.
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Over two months, Tropical Storm Fay, Hurricane Gustav, Tropical Storm Hanna and Hurricane Ike ravaged the country and washed away precious livestock and rice, corn and plantain crops -- followed by collosal food and fuel shortages.
But once again, Haiti began its march back and within a year boasted of millions in investments in hotels and businesses and infrastructure.
Now, Haiti has nearly crumbled.
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The backbones of society are gone -- churches, hospitals, schools and businesses, the institutions upon which life is built.
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Yet from this wretched landscape, the stories, maybe even miracles, are emerging of self-help and personal responsibility and resourcefulness.
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``The country has been in a very dire condition for a very long time yet has managed to survive and, in fact, culturally thrive,'' said Pierre-Michel Fontaine, a University of Miami visiting associate professor of International Relations, Africana Studies and Latin American Studies. ``We Haitians are accustomed to living in harsh conditions but still have a tremendous degree of optimism.''
Evans Paul, former mayor of Port-au-Prince and political leader, said Haitians have been steeled by their 200-year history.
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``Don't forget this is a people that was formed out of exile. We came from afar, another continent, Africa. They brought us here and we worked hard as slaves, and we took our independence,'' Paul said.
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``All the time we spent fighting for our independence, fighting against dictatorship, gave this people a capacity to resist.''
And endure. Across this dust-caked city, as makeshift encampments and tent cities spring up and survivors await the basics that the world has pledged will come, Haitians have taken matters into their own hands, providing their own security, bartering and rationing what little they have.
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Those lucky enough to still work head for the marketplace in the daytime hours. Others spend the day scrounging for food and water -- some returning to their damaged homes with food to share with neighbors. Still others stand guard over the meager belongings left behind in the camps.
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``At night, we sleep bundled up, one up against the people,'' said Wandy Charles, 26. ``With so many people, you cannot stick a needle between us.''
At another sprawling camp of thousands formed at the Plaza St. Pierre public square in Pétionville, there is no brigade after dark, but the young people sing throughout the night.
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``We don't sleep; you can't close your eyes,'' said Jimmy Ludor, 22.
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Mildred Michel, a mother of five, said she walked three hours with her children and two sisters in tow to the plaza from downtown. She's still unsure how she made it out of her poorly constructed home alive. It collapsed.
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For now, this is home. At another camp in Port-au-Prince, the women braided one another's hair; some cooked up vats of spaghetti with tomato ketchup and steamed plantains, even rolled out dough on wooden boards.
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``I have nothing. From time to time, I find something to eat,'' said Thelusma Adrien, 25, at Plaza St. Pierre. ``I am not afraid because I am sure once a few months go by everything will be all right. By Monday, I am sure they will come.''
Others aren't so sure. Jasmine Pierre said she and 10 members of her family have been camped out in a Port-au-Prince park since Tuesday. She has not seen any food deliveries, rescue workers or signs of international relief.
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Some 700 miles away in South Florida, Haitians frantically worked the phones to find loved ones but also to mobilize their own relief campaigns.
Gisele Dessources Pean, 57, of Pembroke Pines sat motionless as television broke the news. First, she called Haiti for her brothers and sisters. Then she called friends and colleagues to start a circle of giving that would be headquartered at her church, St. Bartholomew Catholic Church in Miramar.
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``I saw the palace go, I saw the cathedral go. I had my first communion there and was baptized there,'' said Pean, a registered pharmacist. ``I was just there in July and remember thinking how things were finally coming back from the hurricanes. I knew I had to do something.''
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When the quake hit, Jeff Policard, 30, was with his mother discussing their family business, Food Express, which allows Haitians here to pay for food in Miami for family members in Haiti.
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``We were talking about how we could be more involved in the country. After our last trip, we had noticed the efforts being made in the country,'' said Policard, who lives in Doral. ``This past December celebration was one of the best people have experienced in years. No violence or drama. The country was feeling good!''
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When flights return to Haiti, Policard plans to be among those going, joining his father who is safe but staying outside the family home in Pelerin. For now, Policard and friends are walking house to house collecting canned goods in his neighborhood.
Somewhere amid the anguish of losing parents in the quake, Martine Poitevien still saw rebirth rising from a homeland in ruins.
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It had been only a few hours since a brother called with the news that the bodies of their parents, Frederic, 75, and Innocent Poitevien, 70, had been found in the family home in Carrefour. Still, there was an exquisite mix of light and dark in Poitenvien's thin voice.
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``I have cried and cried and will go home as soon as the airports allow,'' said Poitenvien, a Miramar mother who left Haiti in 1986. ``I have to go home for them and for my country. It is suffering and needs our help. We must rebuild. And we will.''
Miami Herald staff writers Alena Lowenthal and Frances Robles contributed to this report.

According to Corbett's List, the Haitian Embassy in DC is collecting offers of assistance from those with medical skills.
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http://www.haiti.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=137
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Also try http://dex.cidi.org

http://www.ngohaiti.com/disaster/index.htm
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There are now about a dozen books and CDs on the site, and will be continually updated. John also has aa Haiti Business Directory and a Haitian NGO Directory but needs volunteers to help update each.
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Feel feel to reach out to John through the website if you would like to assist him.

By Philip Rucker
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, January 16, 2010; C01
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In the strange circle of life, it all comes back to Haiti. When Bill Clinton married Hillary Rodham in 1975, a friend gave them a trip to Haiti. Since that honeymoon vacation, the Caribbean island nation has held a life-long allure for the couple, a place they found at once desperate and enchanting, pulling at their emotions throughout his presidency and in her maiden year as secretary of state.
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With the world's attention now trained on the devastated Haitian capital, rebuilding the country will be a central part of Bill and Hillary Clinton's lives going forward. And for the 42nd president, the catastrophe offers the opportunity to fulfill whatever unrealized ambitions he has for the long-suffering nation.
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"This is a personal thing for us," Bill Clinton said in a interview Thursday. He said he and his wife have "always felt a special responsibility" for Haiti and its 9 million people. "She has the same memories I do. She has the same concerns I do. We love the place."
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On that first trip in December 1975, Clinton said he and his wife watched as a wreath was placed at the national monument to celebrate Haitian Independence Day. They toured the old hotel where the writer Ernest Hemingway once stayed and visited a voodoo high priest dressed in all white. They sat in a lonely pew of the Port-au-Prince National Cathedral, which lies in ruin following Tuesday's earthquake.
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"We just became fascinated with the country," Bill Clinton said by telephone from his charitable foundation's office in New York. "We followed all its ups and downs."
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The Clintons' enthrallment has lasted for more than 30 years. They decorated their homes with Haitian art. They flew back again and again. Hillary Clinton once said that theirs was a "Haiti-obsessed family." At a dinner in Rwanda with African leaders in 2008, Bill Clinton talked more about Haiti than Rwanda.
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When the Clintons learned that sites in Port-au-Prince they had visited as tourists were destroyed in the earthquake and locals they had come to know were injured or unaccounted for, Bill Clinton said he was "personally emotionally affected." His wife, he said, became "physically sick."
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The Clintons are at the center of the global relief effort. Bill Clinton is the U.N. special envoy to Haiti and, together with former president George W. Bush, is leading America's humanitarian and long-term recovery efforts in Haiti. Hillary Clinton is among the top officials responsible for the nation's work aiding Haiti and its paralyzed government, and plans to fly there Saturday. "The two agencies in the world that can run these things are the United States and the United Nations, and the Clintons sit atop this package," said former senator Tim Wirth, president of the U.N. Foundation.
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Three months into her term last spring, Hillary Clinton addressed the Haiti Donors Conference in Washington, where she spoke of her family's "deep commitment to Haiti and the people of Haiti." She told of visiting the Haitian town of Pignon as first lady, meeting a country doctor who ran a health, women's literacy and micro-credit center to help his countrymen gain a foothold in the global economy.
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"For some of us, Haiti is a neighbor and, for others of us, it is a place of historic and cultural ties," Clinton said. "But for all of us, it is now a test of resolve and commitment."
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Bill Clinton is credited with prioritizing Haiti more than any other modern president; in 1995, he became the first commander in chief to visit the island since Franklin D. Roosevelt.
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But Clinton failed to achieve his goal of economic growth in Haiti. His administration intervened in 1994 to reinstall President Jean-Bertrand Aristide and a democratic government in the wake of a military coup. When Republicans took over Congress the next year, they checked Clinton's every step in Haiti, and within two years Clinton withdrew U.S. troops from Haiti. The island state has continued to be plagued by crime and drug trafficking.
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"The unfinished business was whether there could be enough assistance to get an infrastructure to allow Haiti to dream of becoming this century's South Korea," said Taylor Branch, a longtime friend. "Naturally, Clinton hoped that Haiti could have an economic rebirth to go along with this political rebirth. But it didn't happen."
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Still, Clinton has been regarded as a harbinger of hope to the Haitian people. He recently visited Milot, a town in northern Haiti, where he drew a large and unexpected crowd of locals in a soccer field. They recognized the former president.
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"He kind of charged into the crowd," said Paul Farmer, a public-health expert and deputy U.N. envoy to Haiti, who accompanied Clinton on the trip. "He was so happy. It sounds corny, but I've seen that again and again. He has this real connection."
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Last summer, Clinton took a walk with Haitian President René Préval down a street in Gonaives that had just been reconstructed following the 2008 hurricanes. Hundreds of neighbors gathered around them and Clinton spent so much time talking with the locals, aides said, that it took one hour to walk a quarter-mile.
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"He is regarded as someone who's fundamentally sympathetic to the Haitians, someone who has argued they have a right to dignity and respect -- and to chose their own leaders," Farmer said.
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In his post-presidency, Clinton has tried to leverage his prestige to focus on long-term development in Haiti, helping secure millions of dollars in aid. Wirth has traveled with the Clintons to Haiti. "He asks, 'What can we do?' " Wirth said. "This is such a problem . . . and people have almost such enormous fatigue facing the size of this challenge. He lifts people above that fatigue and into action again."
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Asked if he is committing himself to Haiti's cause for near future, Clinton said: "Oh, you bet."
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"You've seen the pictures," he said. "The streets are full of the wounded, the orphaned and the dead. It's a devastating, devastating thing. . . . These people, they deserve their chance to build a modern life, and I think they can do it."
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On Thursday, Clinton and Farmer convened a long-scheduled meeting in Clinton's Harlem office of about 50 philanthropists, financiers and leaders of nongovernmental organizations interested in the long-term development of Haiti. Clinton said his strategy is to "build back better." That means not just fixing roads, but also planting trees on deforested hillsides, growing more mangoes to export and expanding organic recycling programs.
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"The Haitians have the first chance they've had to escape their own history," Clinton said.
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To Clinton, Haiti's promise can be summed up in a single briquette. Haitians cook mostly with charcoal fire, but coal is an expensive resource there. A group of entrepreneurial women he visited recently in a densely populated Port-au-Prince neighborhood found a solution. As Clinton told the story, they walk through the streets picking up trash. They mix the paper with sawdust and water and then press the water from the product to create organic briquettes.
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"They can sell these things for a penny or two a piece, and three of them will prepare dinner on a typical Haitian cooking stove for much, much less -- 15 percent of the cost of making dinner with charcoal," Clinton said.
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He was so impressed that he brought dozens of the briquettes to New York with him. He carries one in his bag every day, aides said, sometimes pulling a briquette out of his pocket during speeches to show audiences.
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"For a few hundred thousand dollars," Clinton said, "we can spread this all over Port-au-Prince."
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Research editor Alice Crites contributed to this report.

PORT-AU-PRINCE, 17 January 2010 (IRIN) - Haiti’s tiny international airport has been overwhelmed by the international response to the earthquake disaster, clogging up the emergency effort, according to aid workers.
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“The airport in Port-au-Prince does not have the capacity to handle so many aircraft,” Juan Carlos Porcella, the head of the civil aviation authority in neigbouring Dominican Republic told IRIN. “You have planes sitting for hours on the runway. No one wants to take responsibility to unload.”
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The Haitian and Dominican governments are planning an alternative 130km humanitarian road corridor to deliver relief supplies from the Dominican southern town of Barahona to Port-au-Prince, to be secured by UN peacekeepers.
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“The Haitian airport now is overwhelmed,” said UN Assistant Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, Edmond Mulet.
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The US government stepped in to help at the overstretched airport on 15 January by taking control and allowing in only humanitarian flights.
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While some 180 tons of food aid had arrived by 15 January, getting the supplies out of the airport and into the hands of the needy has been a major hurdle, according to Kim Bolduc, the Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General and UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Haiti.
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“You have no idea the state of the roads...The traffic is dense. We may need to change the time of [food] distribution,” she said. While main roads are reportedly open, secondary roads are still blocked.
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On 16 January the World Food Programme provided an estimated 39,000 people with high energy biscuits, water purification tablets and water containers. It could reach only 9,000 on 14 January.
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The government estimates three million people lived in the areas hit by the 12 January earthquake.
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When asked about criticisms that relief has been slow to get to the people, the UN's Bolduc replied: “Before the earthquake, Haiti was already a fragile state, and now almost everything has stopped [working]. The government is doing its best.”
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Local media reported that 27 out of 30 senators died in the quake, and half of the national police force has not been located, along with their equipment.

NAIROBI, 17 January 2010 (IRIN) - Africa has not been left behind in the scramble to provide international assistance to Haiti.
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The following is a list of aid contributions reportedly pledged by African governments in the wake of the 12 January earthquake.
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South Africa – The government has announced a three-phase assistance package: deployment of doctors to a search and rescue team led by Rescue South Africa, a non-profit company; deployment of forensic pathologists to help identify bodies; provision of unspecified humanitarian aid in partnership with South African NGOs.
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Rwanda - US$100,000, according to Rwanda’s New Times newspaper.
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Senegal – President Abdoulaye Wade has pledged free land to Haitians wishing to be “repatriated”, news agencies reported. Spokesman Mamadou Bemba Ndiaye was quoted as saying: "Senegal is ready to offer them parcels of land - even an entire region. It all depends on how many Haitians come.”
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Liberia – Independent Star radio reported the government had contributed $50,000.
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Nigeria – The 121-strong police contingent serving with the UN mission in Haiti is working with rescue teams in the capital, Port-au-Prince, according to This Day newspaper. The country’s Vice-President Goodluck Jonathan said in a statement: “As the international community mobilizes in aid of Haiti, it can count on Nigeria's support.”

By Tracy Wilkinson
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Reporting from Port-Au-Prince, Haiti - The woman wailed outside the ruins of the Notre Dame Cathedral of Port-au-Prince, the iconic Roman Catholic church that symbolized Haiti's religious fervor.
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"This is what God did!" she cried Friday morning. "See what God can do!"
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Tuesday's earthquake brought down the roof of the enormous pink-and-cream church, filling the apse and nave with tons of rubble. The quake punched out its vivid stained glass windows, twisted its wrought-iron fencing and sliced brick walls like cake. The western steeple, which had soared more than 100 feet, toppled onto parishioners praying at an outdoor shrine to St. Emmanuel. Flies buzzed around the pile of copper, plaster and felled columns.
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The senior Catholic figure in the country, Msgr. Joseph Serge Miot, was killed in the magnitude 7.0 earthquake. As many as 100 priests were still missing, sacristan Jean Claude Augustin said.
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By the cathedral's ruins lay a small blue copy of the New Testament. Sheet music for Christian hymns was scattered through the street.
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Haiti is, officially, predominantly Catholic, with some Protestant faiths. But across the board is an underlying belief in, or respect for, voodoo and other indigenous traditions, which are often mixed in with those religious practices.
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Former Haitian President Bertrand Aristide was at one time wildly popular in part for his blend of superstitious spirituality, social activism and Catholic faith.
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Many have turned to God for an explanation of this catastrophe visited upon Haiti. Tens of thousands of people have been spending the nights in the streets, singing hymns and calling out the Gospel.
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Dudu Orelian, whose brother and nephew were killed, stood outside the cathedral. "God is angry at the world," Orelian said. Jack Fisner, a Haitian seminarian who lives in the Dominican Republic, came to Port-au-Prince to begin coordinating aid and prepare a report for the pope.
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"This has been a terrible blow to the church and the people," Fisner said. "You have to question your faith, but hopefully not lose it."
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Augustin, the sacristan, clambered into the interior ruins of the cathedral, nimbly scaling the mounds of rubble and downed chandeliers. He found a young man attempting to loot the collection box of its money and persuaded him to stop. Instead, the two men worked together to salvage the tithes, gathering up the coins and bills in a sheet.
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The statue of Notre Dame, familiar to anyone who ever worshiped in the cathedral, was gone, either destroyed or stolen. Behind the cathedral, the church's pastoral center, where religion classes were held, and the residences of most of the church leadership and its priests were also destroyed.
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Hope remained that the church's general vicar, an active, popular priest in his 80s, might still be alive. Father Charles Benoit, buried under a collapsed four-story building that contained his residence, managed to get a cellular telephone call out to Francois Voleile, a lifelong parishioner, two days ago. He said he was unharmed and had water and juice, but no way out.
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Voleile had been keeping vigil at the site ever since, while a couple of other people armed with a tiny mallet and pocket flashlight tried to work their way into a small opening on the side of the mountain of rubble. On Friday, they were getting nowhere.
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At midmorning, a search-and-rescue team arrived from Mexico, the topos (moles) who go around the world to extract disaster victims caught in terrible circumstances. The Mexican team boosted the rescue effort at the cathedral into full gear, using ropes to pull off sheets of laminated roofing and expose more rubble below.
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With area residents helping, they used pickaxes and shovels to tear into the top of the mound and create three possible entryways. They thought they heard occasional sounds to indicate life. They cleared plaster, beams, drawers full of papers and clothes, tossing everything into a widening heap. Only occasionally did one of the crew members pause to salvage something: a red priest's stole, then a copper chalice. He gingerly handed them to other members of the team.
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"It is overwhelming, such destruction in a place already destroyed," said Sister Berta Lopez Chavez, who said the team had worked the day before at a Catholic school, pulling out three children alive and the bodies of about 30 others. "Haiti lives two realities: this catastrophe, and their catastrophe of every day, of poverty and ignorance and daily hunger. It's like, what else can happen to them? The little they had is gone."
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About three hours after the team from Mexico launched its efforts, a team from Lincolnshire County, England, arrived with their black Labrador, Holly. Everyone was ordered off the hill, and the dog ran back and forth to inspect the scene.
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But Holly found no definitive sign of life, said team member Andy Ford. The team from England abandoned the search, leaving a smaller Russian team with a dog to do a second survey.
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"We are not discouraged," parishioner Voleile said. "We are still alive and we can go on."

Haiti Earthquake Relief
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On January 12, 2010, a massive earthquake struck the nation of Haiti, causing catastrophic damage inside and around the capital city of Port-au-Prince. President Obama has promised the people of Haiti that "you will not be forsaken; you will not be forgotten." The United States Government has mobilized resources and manpower to aid in the relief effort. Here are some ways that you can get involved.
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Contribute online through ClintonBushHaitiFund.org.
Text “QUAKE” to 20222 to charge a $10 donation to the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund (the donation will be added to your cell phone bill).
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Find more ways to help through the Center for International Disaster Information.
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Get Information about Friends or Family
The State Department Operations Center has set up the following phone number for Americans seeking information about family members in Haiti: 1-888-407-4747 (due to heavy volume, some callers may receive a recording). You can also send an email to the State Department. Please be aware that communications within Haiti are very difficult at this time.
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The Federal Response: Check out the links below to find out how each federal department and agency is responding to the earthquake in Haiti.
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U.S. Agency for International Development
The Department of State
The Department of Defense
U.S. Army
U.S. Navy
U.S. Air Force
U.S. Marines
U.S. Coast Guard
The Department of Homeland Security
The Department of Health and Human Services
The Federal Communications Commission
The Department of Interior
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
U.S. Office of Personnel Management

By Philip Sherwell in New York and Colin Freeman
UK Telegraph
Published: 3:57PM GMT 17 Jan 2010
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A looter holds a knife as he fights for products in Port-au-Prince: scavengers and looters have preyed on shattered buildings in the widespread absence of authority and order after Tuesday's earthquake
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One rioter, a man in his 30s, was killed outright by bullets to the head as the crowd grabbed produce in the Marche Hyppolite. Another looter quickly snatched the rucksack off the dead man's back as clashes continued and police reinforcements descended on the area armed with pump-action shotguns and assault rifles.
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It came as predictions of the death toll from the Haitian earthquake rose to 200,000 as mounting desperation at lack of aid threatens to tilt the country into anarchy.
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With up to three million survivors still cut off from outside rescue efforts, the United Nations said the disaster was the worst it had ever dealt with.
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Aid officials fear a lapse into all-out lawlessness in coming days unless US troops can get through with vital food, medicine and water deliveries, which are being hampered by the sheer scale of devastation. There were continued incidents of looting, and isolated reports of rescue workers being stoned by angry crowds.
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The UN's warning came as the full picture of the horror in the flattened capital of Port au Prince emerged. Haitian ministers claimed the body count could rise far beyond the 50,000 estimate made by the Red Cross officials on Friday, saying that 50,000 bodies had already been buried. Trucks piled high with corpses delivered them to mass graves outside the stricken city, with thousands more still lying uncollected on the streets or buried under heavy rubble.
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"We have already collected around 50,000 dead bodies," said interior minister Paul Antoine Bien-Aime. "We anticipate there will be between 100,000 and 200,000 dead in total, although we will never know the exact number."
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If that casualty count is confirmed, it would make Tuesday's 7.0 magnitude earthquake one of the ten deadliest on record. The death toll would also rival that of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, which claimed roughly 250,000 lives. However, officials with knowledge of both incidents said the Haitian disaster - which hit a country already barely functional - posed an infinitely tougher relief challenge.
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"This is a historic disaster," said UN spokesman Elisabeth Byrs, whose own organisation has lost 36 local staff in the earthquake. "We have never been confronted with such a disaster in the UN memory. It is like no other."
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The UN undersecretary general for peacekeeping, Alain Le Roy, added: "There have been some incidents where people were looting or fighting for food. They are desperate, they have been three days without food or any assistance.
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"We have to make sure that the situation doesn't unravel, but for that we need very much to ensure that the assistance is coming as quickly as possible."
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US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was due to land in Port au Prince on Saturday to meet with President Rene Preval, who himself has been rendered homeless by the tremor. The Haitian government has handed over control of its airport to the US military, which has landed 1,000 troops into the country already and will bring another 9,000 in coming days to supervise aid deliveries and ensure stability. Some US soldiers had to keep large crowds at bay outside the airport, where some aid supplies have now got stuck because of the difficulties of transporting them into the disaster zone. Doctors at some of the few functioning field clinics complained that they had already run out of medicines.
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In Britain, which has sent teams of specialist rescue workers to Haiti, reports of the earthquake's appalling aftermath prompted a quick public response. The Disasters Emergency Committee said £10 million was raised in 24 hours.
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International aid efforts have so far been bottlenecked because of damage to the port and airport, where numerous relief planes were unable to land last week because of lack of space and damage to the control towers. The US naval aircraft carrier Carl Vinson arrived off Haiti on Friday with 19 helicopters, opening up an alternative aid delivery channel. But after making 20 deliveries of water and energy drinks, it ran out of supplies by yesterday morning. "We have lift, we have communications, but we don't have much relief supplies to offer," said Rear Admiral Ted Branch.
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"There are other supplies at the airport that are under the control of other agencies and we haven't yet coordinated together... unfortunately that doesn't happen overnight."
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Some 27 international search and rescue teams, with 1,500 workers and 115 dogs are already active in the disaster zone. A team of British firefighters rescued a two-year-old girl buried beneath a collapsed kindergarten, pulling other corpses aside to get at her.
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US rescuers also dug throughout Friday night at a collapsed supermarket where as many as 100 people were feared trapped. They were about to give up, when they were told a cashier had managed to call someone in Miami to say she was still alive inside.
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The working conditions for rescue teams remain extremely tough, however. Even with armed security teams, most deemed it unsafe to continue working at night. "It isn't just the challenges of transport and communications, it is security as well," said one UN official. "One rescue team had stones thrown at them."
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Haiti's threadbare police force has been largely powerless to keep law and order, although one local police chief said that they were rounding up known gang leaders and criminals, some of whom escaped from a prison damaged during the tremors.
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So far the looting and robbery has not been as bad as feared. But rescue officials sense the mood in the city is sullening, and believe violence could become widespread if a substantial aid effort does not arrive soon. On Saturday, four days into the crisis, many Haitians were still digging for loved ones with their bare hands, while others simply wandered the streets in a daze. The stifling heat has made the shortage of drinking water and stench from corpses all the more unbearable.
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Yesterday Russel Honore, the retired US general who coordinated the military response to the Hurricane Katrina disaster that devastated New Orleans, said the aid effort for Haiti had been too cautious to start off with.
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"The next morning after the earthquake, I assumed there would be airplanes delivering aid," he said. "What we saw instead was discussion about, 'Well we've got to send an assessment team in to see what the needs are.' And anytime I hear that, my head turns red."
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Washington denied his claims, saying the operation had been done as quickly as possible. But either way, the scale of the disaster means the initial stages of emergency aid may now only be the beginning. Officials say that up to three-quarters of Port au Prince now need rebuilding, and that US troops may have to be in the country for some six months. Failure to stabilise the situation could lead to a mass exodus of refugees, both into neighbouring Dominica, and possibly also in boats bound for the US.
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Donations to the DEC Haiti appeal can be made by calling 0370 60 60 900, through the website http://www.dec.org.uk or over the counter at any post office or high street bank, quoting Freepay 1449.

Ciné Institute Director David Belle reports from Port-au-Prince:
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"I have been told that much US media coverage paints Haiti as a tinderbox ready to explode. I'm told that lead stories in major media are of looting, violence and chaos. There could be nothing further from the truth.
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"I have traveled the entire city daily since my arrival. The extent of damages is absolutely staggering. At every step, at every bend is one horrific tragedy after another; homes, businesses, schools and churches leveled to nothing. Inside every mountain of rubble there are people, most dead at this point. The smell is overwhelming. On every street are people -- survivors -- who have lost everything they have: homes, parents, children, friends.
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"NOT ONCE have we witnessed a single act of aggression or violence. To the contrary, we have witnessed neighbors helping neighbors and friends helping friends and strangers. We've seen neighbors digging in rubble with their bare hands to find survivors. We've seen traditional healers treating the injured; we've seen dignified ceremonies for mass burials and residents patiently waiting under boiling sun with nothing but their few remaining belongings. A crippled city of two million awaits help, medicine, food and water. Most haven't received any.
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"Haiti can be proud of its survivors. Their dignity and decency in the face of this tragedy is itself staggering."

WASHINGTON—The Obama administration is expecting to commit significantly more to Haiti than the $100 million already designated for earthquake-relief, said the White House's point man on the crisis, Rajiv Shah.
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"We'll do whatever it takes to mount an effective response," said Mr. Shah, who heads the U.S. Agency for International Development, on CNN's "State of the Union" Sunday. "Our goal is to do more every single day, and exponentially more." The rising estimates for U.S. aid comes as the Pentagon is significantly scaling up its troop presence in the Caribbean country as concerns mount about looting and a broader breakdown in law and order.
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The U.S. has 1,000 troops deployed in Haiti with another 3,600 stationed offshore on the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson. Pentagon officials said Sunday that two more companies from the 82nd Airborne are scheduled to land soon in Haiti along with significantly more air, sea and land equipment and personnel.
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Military planners indicated the U.S. could end up deploying more troops to address the security situation.
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"We're going to be here as long as needed," said Lt. Gen. Ken Keen, deputy commanders of the U.S.'s Southern Command, on CNN. "Security is an essential component."
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U.S. and United Nations officials also already starting to point to a much longer international presence in Haiti beyond the current crisis phase. Many, including former U.S. President Bill Clinton who is United Nations special envoy to Haiti, said the Caribbean country had been making major strides in developing its economy and civic institutions before the earthquake. The hope is that reconstruction efforts will take Haiti beyond its pre-earthquake situation. The relief operation won't be successful if, "We just get them back to where they were before the earthquake," Mr. Clinton said on CNN.
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Mr. Clinton and former U.S. President George W. Bush have been tapped by President Barack Obama to help oversee a long-term relief fund for Haiti.

By Ansel Herz (IPS - 1/17/2010)
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PORT-AU-PRINCE, Jan 15, 2010 (IPS) - The roof of Haiti's national penitentiary is missing. The four walls of the prison rise up and break off, leaving only the empty sky overhead.
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The gate to the jail in downtown Port-Au-Prince is wide open; the prisoners and police are all gone. Bystanders walk freely in and out, stepping over the still-hot smoldering remains of the facility's ceiling.
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The 7.0 magnitude earthquake on Tuesday afternoon broke it to pieces. "I don't know if he's alive or not alive," said Margaret Barnett, whose son was a prisoner. "My house is crushed down. I'm just out in the street looking for family members."
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"Where is the help?" she asked. The former government employee spits the question again and again, hands on her hips. "Where is the help? Is the U.N. really here? Does America really help Haiti?"
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In the absence of any visible relief effort in the city, the help came from small groups of Haitians working together. Citizens turned into aid workers and rescuers. Lone doctors roamed the streets, offering assistance.
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The Red Cross estimates that 45,000 to 50,000 people were killed in Tuesday's earthquake, with some three million others left homeless and in need of food and water.
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At the crumbling national cathedral, a dozen men and women crowded around a man swinging a pickaxe to pry open the space for a dusty, near-dead looking woman to squeeze through and escape.
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The night of the quake, a group of friends pulled bricks out from under a collapsed home, clearing a narrow zig-zagging path towards the sound of a child crying out beneath the rubble.
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Two buildings over, Joseph Matherenne cried as he directed the faint light of his cell phone's screen over the bloody corpse of his 23-year-old brother. His body was draped over the rubble of the office where he worked as a video technician. Unlike most of the bodies in the street, there was no blanket to cover his face.
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Central Port-Au-Prince resembles a war zone. Some buildings are standing, unharmed. Those that were damaged tended to collapse completely, spilling into the street on top of cars and telephone poles.
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In the day following the quake, there was no widespread violence. Guns, knives and theft weren't seen on the streets, lined only with family after family carrying their belongings. They voiced their anger and frustration with sad songs that echoed throughout the night, not their fists.
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"Only in the movies have I seen this," said 33-year-old Jacques Nicholas, who jumped over a wall as the house where he was playing dominoes tumbled. "When Americans send missiles to Iraq, that's what I see. When Israel do that to Gaza, that's what I see here."
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Late at night, Nicholas heard false rumours that a tsunami was coming and he joined a torrent of people walking away from the water.
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Nobody knows what to expect. Some people said Haiti needs a strong international intervention - a coordinated aid effort from all the big countries. But there was no evidence on the streets of any immediate cavalry of rescue workers from the United States and other nations.
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"My situation is not that bad," said Nicholas, "but overall the other people's situation is worse than mine. So it affects me. Everybody wants to help out, but we can't do nothing."
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Haitians are doing only what they can. Helping each other with their hands and the few tools they can find, they lack the resources to coordinate a multi-faceted reconstruction effort.
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U.N. agencies and humanitarian organisations on the ground are struggling to help survivors of the quake, but many are hindered by large-scale damage to their own facilities, as well as lack of heavy equipment to clear rubble.
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Logistics remained the main obstacle on Friday, according to news reports, with damage to the main airport, impassable roads and problems at the docks continuing to bottleneck the outpouring of international relief workers and basic supplies.
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The United Nations is issuing a flash appeal Friday for more aid as part of a coordinated immediate response and long-term reconstruction plan.
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A popular radio host here reminded everyone that the strength of the Haitian people cannot be underestimated, posting on his Twitter: "We can re-build! We overcame greater challenges in 1804" - the year Haiti threw off the yoke of colonial slavery in a mass revolt.
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As the days tick by and the bodies pile up, it will take bold vision and hard work on that scale for Haiti to recover from Tuesday's tremors.

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti -- U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon flew to Haiti on Sunday to support earthquake relief efforts and to visit his staff's devastated headquarters in what the agency is calling the most challenging disaster it has ever faced. Ban's charter Boeing 737 was met by the acting chief of the U.N. peacekeeping mission, Edmond Mulet, who was sent in immediately after the quake to replace mission chief Hedi Annabi.
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Annabi was buried in the rubble along with many others when the five-story U.N. headquarters collapsed in Tuesday's magnitude-7.0 quake. His body was found Saturday. Hundreds of others are missing.
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Shortly after landing, Ban had an emotional reunion with his former spokeswoman, Michele Montas, a Haitian woman who was visiting her mother at the time of the earthquake.
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Ban's first stop in Haiti was to be the U.N. headquarters, after which he planned to take an aerial tour of the country's most-damaged areas.
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Ban said he has three priorities in Haiti: saving as many lives as possible, stepping up humanitarian assistance and ensuring the coordination of the huge amount of aid coming into the country.
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"We should not waste even a single item, a dollar," he said. Ban said the U.N. is feeding 40,000 people, and expects that figure to rise to 2 million within a month. The secretary-general also said he was "very touched and grateful" for the outpouring of aid from other countries around the world.
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U.N. humanitarian spokeswoman Elisabeth Byrs in Geneva has declared the quake the worst disaster the international organization has ever faced, since so much government and U.N. capacity in the country was demolished. In that way, she said, it's worse than the cataclysmic Asian tsunami of 2004: "Everything is damaged."
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Ban called the quake "one of the most serious humanitarian crises in decades."
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"The damage, destruction and loss of life are just overwhelming," he said.

Haiti earthquake: ICRC rushes to get water and medical supplies to survivors
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Significant amounts of emergency aid have arrived in quake-struck Port-au-Prince. The challenge now is to get it to survivors as quickly as possible. Further assessments confirm that the damage is widespread and immense. Very few neighbourhoods have been spared, while local infrastructure and services have been wiped out. The ICRC has built latrines for 1,000 people and supplied medical kits for 2,000 patients to two hospitals. Seven truckloads of ICRC medical supplies should arrive in the capital on Sunday evening.
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Tens of thousands of quake survivors have spent a fifth night outdoors in the makeshift camps that have sprung up in every neighbourhood in Port-au-Prince. Access to shelter, toilets, water, food and medical care remains extremely limited, according to ICRC specialists on the ground. While some food seems to be available in the city, prices have skyrocketed and most people cannot afford to buy anything.
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Medical facilities in Port-au-Prince still lack staff and medicine. They are overwhelmed and bursting at the seams. The sanitation situation in the makeshift camps is precarious.
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"Croix de Pré may be the most devastated neighbourhood in Port-au-Prince," says ICRC spokesman, Simon Schorno, who has visited most areas of city. "Very few buildings are left standing and in every back alley, people have pitched their plastic sheets and blankets. Some survivors sit in smashed and dusty cars. There is trash everywhere and the air is filled with the stench of dead bodies," he says.
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The ICRC, which was already present and active in Haiti before Tuesday's earthquake, is strengthening its response to the crisis. It works as part of the wider International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and cooperates closely with the Haitian Red Cross.
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According to Mr. Schorno, the headquarters of the Haitian Red Cross, which is located near Croix de Pré, is surrounded by people looking for medical care. The National Society has set up a first aid post in the middle of the street, where Red Cross volunteers from Haiti and other countries work side-by-side to clean and stitch up wounds amidst the rubble.
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In Centreville, on the Place du Champ de Mars, several thousand survivors are now living in one of the city's largest makeshift camps. Mr. Schorno describes a desperate situation there. "Some people have found a bit of shade but most sit in the sun. The stench of stale urine is overpowering. Hundreds of children improvise games, laugh and cry. Mothers chat with neighbours and fan themselves," he says.
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Martine, a 39-year-old mother, washes her son in a bucket of water. Several families have already used it. Her husband left earlier in the morning to fetch drinking water. For now, they have none. Her neighbours gave her a few vegetables they had cooked. "I don't know how long we'll stay or where we'll go," she says.
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The streets further towards the sea are packed with people. Aftershocks continue and no one wants to be inside the few buildings left standing.
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"There are bloated, decomposing bodies in the streets, many leaking yellow liquid," says Mr. Schorno. "Motorcycles and cars drive around them, and no one looks. Young men remove blocks of cement from collapsed buildings. They are not looking for people, but for scrap metal. It seems they are now focused only on their own survival."
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In the shadow of the flattened National Palace, the police headquarters is empty and the building half-collapsed. Police officers and their families, who are also in need of help, sit in their cars and pick up trucks. Rémi, the three-year-old son of one officer, is sick and injured.
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"He was under the building for four hours and has been paralysed since we moved him out of the rubble, three days ago," says his father. "I am scared," whispers his mother, Wilma. "Is my boy going to die?" Her son, who has not eaten in two days and is unresponsive, is taken to a nearby field hospital. It is the only functioning medical facility in Montrissant. There are four doctors for around 400 patients waiting at the makeshift clinic, which is made up of two metal containers and canvas-covered courtyard.
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It is packed and there are dozens of wounded and sick people at the gate. "One of the doctors told me they cannot cope and lost over 50 patients in the past two days," says Mr. Schorno. Around 50 expatriate doctors are expected to arrive soon but for some survivors, like Rémi, the help may be too late.
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"Closer to the sea, huge piles of black and white trash are piling up, grey polluted water floods the streets, ladies sell dirty vegetables, and young men are cutting up used car tires," says Mr. Schorno. "Buses blowing clouds of black smoke are full. Those who can are leaving the city for the countryside, where it might be easier to survive and perhaps start anew."
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Before the quake, the Haitian Red Cross had around 1,000 registered volunteers in Port-au-Prince, many of whom have since been working around-the-clock to help those in need. "We have saved many lives in the last few days," says Judas Celoge, the field coordinator for the Haitian Red Cross' first aid post in Martissant – one of the poorest neighbourhoods in the city.
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Near the first aid table on the side of the street, 13-year-old Marine sits on the sidewalk holding her head in her hands. She doesn't cry but stares emptily ahead. She lost both her parents and her brother and sister in the quake. Their bodies have not been found and probably never will be.
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"Everyone you talk to has lost someone. There is no one here that has not been affected by this tragedy," says Mr. Schorno.
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The international relief activities of the Red Cross and Red Crescent, including those of the ICRC, are being coordinated by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC).
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The ICRC continues to work closely with its Red Cross partners on the ground to assess humanitarian needs and deliver relief assistance.
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A shipment of around 40 tonnes of ICRC medical supplies, sent from Geneva on Thursday night, is finally expected to arrive in Port-au-Prince on Sunday evening. It will arrive by truck from the Dominican Republic.
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On Saturday, 16 January, the ICRC started a water trucking programme in the Delmas neighbourhood, which is now providing clean water for around 1,000 people living in a makeshift camp. Latrines have also been built in the same neighbourhood.
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The ICRC, with the support of the Haitian Red Cross, has supplied medical kits to treat 2,000 patients for a month to two Port-au-Prince referral hospitals. Hundreds of blankets and plastic sheets have also been distributed.
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Given the scope of the disaster, the ICRC is not in a position to provide exact figures about the number of deaths or injuries resulting from the earthquake.
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A second ICRC rapid deployment team left Geneva on Sunday morning for Haiti, where they will provide additional forensics, tracing, nursing, communications and logistics support to staff already on the ground.
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Meanwhile, the first of three massive Red Cross Red Crescent basic health care emergency response units (ERUs) arrived on 16 January. The ERU is designed to provide basic and immediate health care to 30,000 people. So far, 14 ERUs have been deployed to Haiti, with most expected to arrive in the coming days. They include water and sanitation units, logistic units, IT and telecommunication infrastructure, and a massive 250-bed hospital.
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In addition, ICRC Delegates have visited several places of detention in Port-au-Prince to assess the needs of the detainees and the authorities, and to follow up on detention issues.
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The ICRC is working to set up a post at the headquarters of the Haitian Red Cross to help restore family links between people who may have been separated or who are searching for missing relatives. People will also be able to register as safe and well. The post will ensure that people can receive and forward information to their relatives.
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As of 17 January, more than 21,600 people had registered with the ICRC's special website, www.icrc.org/familylinks, which was activated on Thursday to help people searching for their loved ones.
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The overwhelming majority of registrations are from people looking for news about their relatives, although around 1,500 people have so far used the site to say they were safe and alive.
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"The large number of people who have registered the names of their loved ones is a clear indicator of how many people outside Haiti are really desperate for news," says Robert Zimmerman, who's in charge of the ICRC's Restoring Family Links programme.
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"It's going to take some time, though, before we're able to collect significant amounts of information from within Haiti. We're trying to get the word out that this service exists and that people can let the Red Cross know they're okay, but for the anxious relatives waiting for news, it's going to require patience and time."
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For further information, please contact:
Simon Schorno, ICRC Port-au-Prince, satellite tel: +88 165 146 6175
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Anna Nelson, ICRC Geneva, tel: +41 79 217 3264
ICRC out-of-hours duty phone, tel: +41 22 730 3443

Follow the ICRC on Twitter for regular updates on relief efforts in Haiti: http://www.twitter.com/icrcnews

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