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Haiti aid flow set to improve: UN

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Haiti aid flow set to improve: UN


The United Nations has said it expects the flow of aid into earthquake-hit Haiti to improve over the next few days.

Delays have so far hampered the deliveries of humanitarian supplies owing to the island’s broken infrastructure.

Euronews’ Paul Hackett spoke with David Wimhurst, who is the spokesman for the United Nations peacekeeping mission in Haiti.

Q: Mr Wimhurst. We’ve seen the Americans send troops, we’ve seen you send troops. Who is in charge here?

A: Well, we all are actually. We have got a very successful coordination mechanism set up with the Americans and the Canadians. We share responsibilities and we the UN will be doing the coordinating of these operations. We will be focusing on security issues once the American troops are here on the ground and able to escort and protect all the humanitarian deliveries.’‘

Q: ‘‘It’s taken an awful long time to get this aid out to the Haitian people. Why is that?’‘

A: Listen, there’s one single landing strip in Port-au-Prince. 150 planes a day are coming into that landing strip. We’re now opening a humanitarian corridor with the Dominican Republic in order to get other flights landing, and then trucking in the aid that’s necessary. There are strategic bottlenecks. The port is down…the first ship managed to get in yesterday and I understand there’s a floating harbour coming in within the next day or two. So we are going to take in ships very quickly.

Rescue teams are winding down their search for survivors as the focus moves to burying the dead and relocating the homeless.

The US has boosted its troop presence to some 16,000 while the UN plans to add an additional 2,000 peacekeepers.

Meanwhile, the country’s main port has been reopened after successful repairs carried out by US coastguard engineers.

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