26 March 2010 Some 200 Haitian families have been moved into the first of an expected five transitional sites being set up to decongest spontaneous settlements of those left homeless by the 12 January earthquake, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reported today.
Discussions are still ongoing between agencies dealing with protection and camp management issues to come up with the best relocation criteria. One of the recommendations is to prioritize for relocation people who staying in areas prone to flooding and related hazards.
OCHA also reported that 74 per cent of the 1.3 million people in need have received emergency shelter materials. Distribution of waterproof shelter materials ahead of the upcoming rainy season remains a top humanitarian priority.
The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) reported that it has scaled up efforts to reach 108,000 farmers with seeds and tools. The targeted farmers include 68,000 who will be assisted during the spring planting season in southern Haiti, and 40,000 who will receive help during the summer planting season in Artibonite, the country main rice-growing area in the northeast.
The UN World Food Programme (WFP), for its part, said it is currently providing food assistance to 67 hospitals with the aim of reaching up to 100,000 beneficiaries in the facilities.
In response to rising reports of gender-based violence incidents, the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) and the national police have stepped up security patrols at six settlement sites.
Meanwhile, findings of the post-disaster needs assessment show that the earthquake caused damage and losses estimated at $7.8 billion – $4.3 billion in physical damage and $3.5 billion in economic losses. The damage and losses are equivalent to about 120 per cent of Haiti's gross domestic product (GDP) last year.
According to OCHA, the revised humanitarian appeal for Haiti, which seeks $1.4 billion, is 50 per cent funded having received $718 million, with another $36 million in uncommitted pledges.
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