In Haiti frustration at the slow pace of vital aid supplies has been causing tension at the airport in Port-au-Prince. It’s one of the few places where it’s still possible to find work in the capital and each day hundreds of Haitians gather from dawn looking for a job. The vast majority don’t get far. Some locals are angry that despite the hive of activity at the airport, aid is desperately slow to reach those in need.
A woman at the airport gates told reporters: “What do they come here for? Do they come here to help us? We don’t find any help. Nobody finds any help. There are a lot of kids on the street, people are dying all over the streets. We still have people under the debris. I mean, what did they come here to do – to help us or to look around or to make fun of us or what?”
But a man nearby was thankful for the Americans’ presence:
“I am really glad that the Americans are here because the Haitians are irresponsible. Because if the Haitians want to get out of this situation, Americans have to take control of this country. We need the Americans to stay here and take the country in hand. Then the Haitians can live normally.”
More US marines have been arriving from warships anchored offshore. Some brought with them bulldozers, diggers and trucks; others food rations and temporary shelters for the homeless.
The UN has praised the Dominican Republic for setting up a humanitarian aid corridor to Haiti, and for sending 150 troops to join UN peacekeepers.
The US is sending another four thousand troops to Haiti, bringing its total number to 16,000. In Latin America, Bolivia and Venezuela have again condemned the American military presence.