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Haiti: The battle to keep survivors alive

Haiti: The battle to keep survivors alive
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Now that food, medicine and money are beginning to circulate more efficiently in Haiti, authorities and charities are concentrating on getting nourishment and shelter to hundreds of thousands of people made homeless by the earthquake there.

The government has plans to move nearly half a million of them out of Port au Prince, where they have been living in the open, among the rubble and the dead. The UN estimates there are nearly 450 ramshackle encampments in the capital alone.

And even though food and water is now reaching its target, aid agencies are desperate to get people out of the squalor and filth of the streets and away from the city to keep those who survived alive.

Overlooking Port au Prince, improvised shelters litter the city’s golf course where American troops from the 82nd Airborne company handed out supplies. But according to one sergeant, they could do it 24-hours a day for the next six months, and they still would not meet the need.

The World Food Programme has already handed out three-million meals. It aims to distribute ten-million next week, feeding 100,000 people a day.

But the flow of aid has not stopped ugly scenes.At a food distribution centre on the outskirts of Port au Prince the desperate were overcome by the violent.

A gang waded into the crowd and set about their compatriots with batons to steal their food.