Haiti News from the UN Noon Briefing, Friday, February 26

Posted on February 26, 2010


From the United Nations Noon Briefing, Friday, February 26

 Spokesperson for the Secretary-General, Martin Nesirky

Excerpt on Haiti:


  • In Haiti, the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) says that the registration of displaced persons is being organized as is the selection of sites for debris removal, the assessment of building damage, and the identification and planning of relocation sites for those who can not return to their homes. 
  • Together with the decongestion of spontaneous settlement sites, creating adequate sanitary conditions will be crucial in order to mitigate the risk of a large-scale outbreak of waterborne diseases in Haiti in the coming weeks.
  • OCHA adds that, as of today, a total of 86,403 workers are engaged in cash-for-work activities including clearing small debris, drainage and irrigation of canals and solid waste management.
  • Concerning education, the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and its partners are setting up more than 150 tent schools with the goal of getting children back to school before April. An estimated 2.5 million children have been out of school since the quake according to UNICEF. 
  • Finally, food assistance is moving into a second surge phase, with planned distribution of full food baskets.
  • Meanwhile, the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), launched a report on HIV/AIDS in Haiti to strengthen a more coordinated and sustained response to the epidemic in Haiti. It says that this is the first really significant natural disaster in a country with a high HIV epidemic.
  • At the end of last year there were roughly 120,000 people living with HIV in Haiti, with around 19,000 people receiving treatment. UNAIDS is concerned about maintaining treatment for that population group and adds that it also anticipates that the number of people living with HIV will rise to 32,000 through this year.
  • Among priorities, UNAIDS stresses the need to rebuild the health system, to protect displaced persons for HIV; and to rebuild the local and national networks of people living with HIV.
  • Next Week the Commission on the Status of Women will be held at the UN  – In conjunction with this event, on Wednesday, March 3, at 11:00am, the United Nations Fund for Women (UNIFEM) will hold a press conference about Haitian Women, and their role in maintaining family and community well-being. The press conference will focus on challenges and opportunities presented in the aftermath of the 12 January earthquake. Participants include Marjory Michel, Minister of Women of Haiti, Sheelagh  Kathy Mangones, UNIFEM’s  Country Programme Manager for Haiti, and a representative of civil society.