3 March 2004 A United Nations airlift of emergency supplies arrived today in Haiti's capital, Port-au-Prince, as the city resumed some of its normal activities despite pockets of insecurity.
The UN Children's Fund's (UNICEF) $400,000 operation transported a 30-ton, 145-cubic-metre cargo load of emergency and basic medical, surgical and obstetric supplies to cover the needs of 30,000 of the most vulnerable women and children for three months, UN spokesman Fred Eckhard told reporters in New York.
Humanitarian workers have had little access to critical areas where children and women are in dire need of assistance, according to UNICEF, which warned that Haiti's extremely impoverished health and education systems are being weakened by violence and insecurity.
Meanwhile, the World Food Programme (WFP) has a ship with 1,200 tons of food waiting offshore until security improves, Mr. Eckhard said. It lost 85 tons of food to looters in the northern town of Cap Haitien just over a week ago.
The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) said it began distributing fuel to 10 hospitals yesterday to help restore some services. Essential medicines and vaccines are being distributed on a limited basis only.
In another development, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights is planning to send an international human rights adviser to Port-au-Prince for a preliminary period of 6 months. Among other tasks, that individual will design the possible future UN human rights programme for the country.