Haiti: Earthquake leaves mounting death toll, injuries and extensive damage 

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Four days aft a devasting 7.2-magnitude earthquake deed south-western Haiti, the level of demolition and desperation is becoming progressively evident, the United Nations said on Wednesday, noting that the decease toll has surged to astir 2,000. 

fter back-to-back crises in the beleaguered country – Saturday’s earthquake followed connected Monday by Tropical Depression Grace – the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEFsaid that as the authoritative tally of deaths and demolition continues to grow, those injured have already surpass 9,900. 

And the UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said that Civil extortion authorities are urging utmost vigilance connected the portion of affected radical arsenic the operation of dense rains and imaginable aftershocks from the earthquake could bring down the cracked walls and roofs of damaged homes. 

#Haiti earthquake: The decease toll has surged to astir 2,000, with implicit 9,900 reported injured. At slightest 500,000 radical are successful request of exigency assistance successful the affected areas.

Despite challenges, humanitarian convoys are scheduled to present assistance to radical successful need.

— UN Humanitarian (@UNOCHA) August 18, 2021

1.2 cardinal affected 

UNICEF estimates that immoderate 1.2 cardinal people, including 540,000 children, person been affected by the earthquake and astir fractional a cardinal Haitian children person constricted oregon nary entree to shelter, harmless water, wellness attraction and nutrition.  

Despite criminal unit and insecurity, including gangs controlling the main roadworthy from Port-au-Prince to the southbound of the country, a UNICEF motortruck was capable to present aesculapian kits to 3 hospitals successful Les Cayes, with capable supplies – including gloves, painkillers, antibiotics and syringes – to dainty 30,000 earthquake victims implicit 3 months.  

The UN bureau and partners are besides distributing tarpaulins for exigency shelters; latrines and showers; and safe water. 

The UN bureau estimates that it volition request $15 cardinal to respond to the astir urgent needs of astatine slightest 385,000 people, including 167,000 children nether the property of 5 for a play of 8 weeks.     

94 schools damaged oregon destroyed 

“Haiti’s children request solidarity and support”, said Bruno Maes, UNICEF’s Representative successful Haiti. “Parents and teachers who person mislaid everything volition request support”. 

Just weeks earlier schools are owed to re-open, preliminary assessments conducted yesterday by UNICEF and Haitian officials successful South Department – 1 of the 3 hardest deed – amusement that 94 of the 255 schools have either sustained damages oregon been completely destroyed. 

“It volition beryllium highly hard for parents, teachers and the Government to get children safely backmost to schoolhouse conscionable 3 weeks from now”, said Mr. Maes. 

After visiting a damaged schoolhouse in Mazenod, adjacent Les Cayes, the UNICEF authoritative stressed that it is “crucial for children who person conscionable gone done this traumatic earthquake-plus-extreme upwind experience, to person the normalcy and stableness of being successful a schoolroom with their friends and teachers”. 

Getting kids backmost successful classrooms 

This latest tragedy comes at a clip when children person been incapable to be schoolhouse for months astatine a time, due to governmental oregon information challenges, as good as the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“Putting children backmost successful classrooms is possibly the champion mode to marque definite they – and their families and communities – tin recover”, said Mr. Maes. 

“We volition request resources to rebuild immoderate schools, rehabilitate others, equip classes with desks, teachers and students with pedagogical and schoolhouse kits”, the UNICEF Representative said. 

UN agencies provide exigency aid 

Meanwhile yesterday, OCHA sent an 11-person Disaster Assessment and Coordination (UNDAC) team to the hard-hit country.  

Noting assessments that revealed damage worse than hoped, the UN office issued a Flash Update saying that casualties volition apt proceed to ascent arsenic hunt and rescue operations persist. 

Along with ongoing search-and-rescue efforts, entree is the biggest priority, according to OCHA, which reported that teams person managed to prevention astatine slightest 34 radical from the rubble.  

The World Food Programme (WFP) said that its trucks are “loaded with food, h2o and hygiene kits” for people successful the astir affected areas. 

In the meantime, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) is co-leading with the Haitian authorities, the effect for the Shelter, Non-Food Items and Camp Management sectors.  

“Distributions person already started to supply quick, lifesaving assistance to the astir vulnerable”, IOM said successful a tweet. 

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