Residents of more than 160 of the numerous temporary settlements that sprang up in Haiti following January’s catastrophic earthquake have been hit by a deadly rainstorm that lashed the capital, Port-au-Prince, on Friday and are in urgent need of shelter material, the United Nations reported today.
At least 1 million people are still living in tent camps or makeshift housing, eight months after the earthquake struck the country, killing around 200,000 people.
Needs assessments in the camps for internally displaced persons (IDPs) have identified 11,000 families requiring shelter assistance after the brief but intense storm. Humanitarian agencies have so far distributed more than 5,400 tarpaulins and nearly 4,670 tents to over 3,200 families, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).
While sufficient stocks of shelter material are available to meet the needs created by the storm, they will need to be replenished quickly.
Camp health facilities that were identified as having been damaged by the storm have since be repaired, according to OCHA.
UN Police have conducted 191 joint patrols with the Haitian National Police in IDP camps and no incidents have been reported. Some 200 soldiers have provided escort security to aid workers distributing tarpaulins to camp residents
According to media reports, at least five people in Port-au-Prince died as a result of the storm, which was brief but sharp and brought heavy rains and high winds to the city, including the many camps for internally displaced persons who have been homeless since the quake.
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon voiced sadness on Saturday at the loss of life and damage caused by the storm and offered his condolences to the families of the victims.
He stressed the need for donors to continue to support post-quake relief and recovery efforts across Haiti, with an estimated $450 million in additional funding still required.