Haiti: Aid Agencies “Stretched to Limit”

Posted on July 10, 2010


Aid agencies ‘stretched to limit’ in Haiti

Page last updated at 15:26 GMT, Thursday, 8 July 2010 16:26 UK

Girl carries water from Red Cross truck in camp near Port-au-Prince The Red Cross warns that its resources for Haiti are running low

Aid agencies have warned that their ability to keep delivering basic services in earthquake-stricken Haiti is being stretched to the limit.

The Red Cross said aid agencies were still providing most of the clean water and toilet facilities six months after the devastating earthquake.

Prime Minister Rene Preval has said his government does not have enough money to run and re-build the country.

The quake killed up to 230,000 people and left one million homeless.

The 7.0-magnitude earthquake struck the area around the capital, flattening homes and buildings in a wide area.

Most of those who lost their homes are now living in temporary encampments.

“We are all stretched to our capacity and simply containing a critical situation, rather than solving it,” said Alastair Burnett, an operations manager with the British Red Cross.

Reconstruction has been slow because of the scale of the disaster and a shortfall in humanitarian funding for Haiti.

“From this moment on sanitation must be integrated into wider plans to rebuild Haiti and long-term solutions must be found,” Mr Burnett said in a report released on Thursday by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.

Charity Medicins Sans Frontieres (MSF) warned that frustration was growing among Haitians with the “dire reality” of their living conditions.

“There is a staggering gap between the enthusiasm and promises for aiding the victims of the earthquake in the early weeks, and the dire reality on the ground after half a year,” said MSF’s head of mission in Haiti.

One bright spot, however, was that provision of medical services to the majority of Haitians was better than before the earthquake, MSF said.