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Fighting breaks out over aid distribution after Haiti earthquake

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By Mark Armstrong  with AP, AFP
Fighting breaks out over aid distribution after Haiti earthquake
Copyright  Matias Delacroix/Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

Frustration boiled over in Haiti on Friday as hungry and homeless people ransacked relief trucks.

Many people have been left destitute after the earthquake last week that killed over 2,000 people, injured more than 12,000 and destroyed around 10,000 homes.

In the small port city of Les Cayes, people were seen fighting and stealing food from an aid distribution truck outside a police station.

"The people of Cayes are living in hunger," shouted one man. "All the houses collapsed, the city is doing badly now. We are suffering, we can't find food to eat. When the truck arrives with the food the police don't want to distribute it."

Similar events appeared to take place in the small town of Vye Terre near Les Cayes.

The frustration over the pace of aid distribution has been rising for days and has been illustrated by the growing number of people gathering at aid distribution sites.

In a televised address, Prime Minister Ariel Henry said the government was trying to improve its response.

"We have learned lessons from the management of the humanitarian crisis of 2010," claimed Henry. "That is why my government has decided to coordinate the response to today's emergencies through a single body: the civil protection agency."

The deputy secretary-general of the United Nations visited Les Cayes on Friday.

Amina J. Mohammed met with victims as well as Haitian Civil Protection and humanitarian workers as part of what was dubbed a "solidarity visit".