Wednesday, January 20, 2010
Getting help to the hungry and homeless in Haiti is still a "nightmare"
Getting help to the hungry and homeless in Haiti is still a "nightmare" a week after the devastating earthquake, a leading British aid organisation said.
Aid efforts are being hampered by quake damage, fuel shortages and "deteriorating" security on the streets, Plan International said.
Spokesman Alistair Clay said getting aid to the capital Port-au-Prince is still an "utter nightmare" but it is hoped today will be a "turning point" and "things are
going to start to flow".
US military officials yesterday sent in 800 extra marines, swelling troop numbers to as many as 11,000. The air force also upped the daily capacity of the airport from 30 flights before the quake to 180.
Troops have been forced to drop water bottles from the air after swarms of desperate people prevented helicopters from landing.
The United Nations Security Council yesterday approved 3,500 extra soldiers and police officers to beef up security so that aid trucks could get through.
Mr Clay said fuel shortages were also a problem for aid agencies trying to deliver water, food and emergency supplies.
The charity has thousands of mobile water tanks to deliver but Mr Clay said: "We are really limited in how far we can drive at the moment because we haven't got enough fuel."
The Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) has collected £25 million in donations from the British people.
Coldplay, Bono and Sting are among a galaxy of stars lined up for a global Hope For Haiti telethon this week to help raise funds for the quake-hit island. Coldplay will join U2's Bono and The Edge, rapper Jay-Z and Rihanna in London for one of the broadcasts, which will be shown around the world on Friday