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Helicopters used in earthquake-hit Haiti as gangs block aid deliveries

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By euronews with AP
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Earthquake victims reach for water being handed out during a food distribution
Earthquake victims reach for water being handed out during a food distribution   -   Copyright  AP
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Aid agencies are using helicopters to deliver vital supplies in earthquake-hit Haiti after criminal gangs stopped help getting through.

The disaster on August 14 killed more than 2,200 people and damaged or destroyed more than 50,000 homes on the Caribbean island, according to Haiti's civil protection agency.

But the relief effort has been hampered by the insecurity that affects much of the country, with gangs preventing aid from reaching those who need it most.

Gangs have blocked roads, hijacked aid trucks and stolen supplies, forcing relief workers to transport supplies by helicopter. In places, desperate crowds have scuffled over bags of food.

A local woman displaced by the earthquake said: "The situation is not good."

"It is raining, the sun is beating us. There is not a person who is living well. We all want to be back in our homes."

A gang leader is offering a truce as well as help for communities devastated by the disaster, raising a glimmer of hope for relief operations that have been disrupted by the looting of aid trucks and other disorders.