United Nations officials in Haiti are working with local authorities across the south of the impoverished Caribbean country to help bring relief after Tropical Storm Gustav pummelled the nation with torrential rains and heavy winds.
Media reports say at least 14 people have been killed in Haiti, and nearly as many in the neighbouring Dominican Republic, after Gustav made landfall yesterday, a week after Tropical Storm Fay left dozens of people dead.
Thousands of Haitians were evacuated by boat or truck from their homes in the West, South-East and Nippes departments with the help of blue helmets serving with the UN peacekeeping mission in Haiti (known as MINUSTAH).
The mission said in a press release that it was helping to conduct patrols of key roads and bridges to determine what damage they received in the wake of Gustav, which continues to cross the Caribbean region.
UN engineers have also been deployed as part of an assessment team to decide what reconstruction activity needs to occur as a result of the storm damage.
MINUSTAH and the UN Country Team have been working with Haitian authorities on their national disaster response since Monday, when Gustav’s path towards Haiti was announced.
UN Development Programme (UNDP) Administrator Ad Melkert, who was already visiting the country, extended his tour to inspect areas damaged by the storm.
Today he inspected parts of the capital Port-au-Prince, including the harbour and the slum Cité Soleil, along with Joel Boutroue, the UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Haiti.