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Haiti's food coupon chaos

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Haiti's food coupon chaos


In spite of attempts to ease Haiti’s stuttering aid effort, chaos continues to dog operations.

In the capital, Port-au-Prince, the wait for food proved too much for some. US soldiers struggled to contain a crowd as people waited for coupons – the ticket-based system has been introduced with the intention of making distribution smoother.

The battle to get urgent care to critically ill Haitians has improved. The US has resumed medical evacuation flights for the badly injured, following a five-day suspension caused by a row over where to treat patients and who would pay for their care. The airlift re-started after Washington agreed to foot the bill.

The fate of ten American Baptist missionaries is less clear. They are accused of illegally trying to take a group of children out of the quake shattered nation. The Baptists deny kidnapping and child trafficking and insist they just wanted to help.
However, Haiti’s government say some of the children weren’t orphaned. A judge is set to review the case.

Haiti’s Communications Minister Marie Laurence Jocelin Lassegue said: ‘‘Some of those children have parents. Those people are going to see the judge and that judge will decide what punishment to give them.’‘

For many the last three weeks have proved too much. At one mass funeral near the capital, dozens of mourners came to bury their dead. More worrying for the authorities perhaps was the fact the ceremony was marked by political calls for the return of Haiti’s ousted president, Jean-Bertrand Aristide.

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