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US in the News - Live Punjab


Haitians Worry About Out-Of-Touch Reports; Still Need Basic Supplies
January 30 , 2010

Tejinder Singh - AHN Correspondent

Port-Au-Prince, Haiti (AHN) - Seventeen days after a 7.0-magnitude earthquake devastated the capital, Port-au-Prince, with many more aftershocks, measuring more than 5.0-magnitude continued to shake it, Haitians are limping back to life.

The media reports that quote official figures are so out of touch with reality that journalists on the ground are wondering about the authenticity of these sources.

The organizations under the U.N. umbrella talk of millions being fed but the ground reality is quite distressing and today Yvon Jerome, Mayor of Carrefour, one of the worst affected areas in the city, spoke about his disappointment.

One of the officials of his office asked, "Why the U.S. is sending troops and guns and war-ships? We need food, water and shelter."

Jerome showed his arms full of mosquito bites as he is roughing it out with his people without much sleep.

In one of the industrial park compounds near the airport to where nearly his municipal boundaries stretch, there are seventeen "self-sufficient" kitchen trucks from the Dominican Republic serving the different areas. These are sent from the President of that country but would be going back next week.

Jerome pointed at the same zone, good work being done by the United Sikhs International, an organization serving food and water to nearly a thousand people in different locations in his zone. This organization is cooking fresh food everyday and distributing it the same day.

One of the participating volunteers explained, "This way we are directly addressing the needs of the suffering people. When the same people are given other materials by the U.N. or other major agencies, these people go out and sell those and then buy some cheap food stocks later."

Smaller organizations are better able to reach the masses instead of larger ones, pointed the Mayor.

One of the journalist teams at Hotel Kiman, where most of the journalists are hanging out mentioned about one of the organizations taking a police escort and going all round the city, photographing themselves without distributing even one packet.

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