UN provides help to relief efforts in flood-hit Haitian capital

By United Nations

United Nations peacekeepers and humanitarian staff are helping with relief efforts in Haiti, where floods sparked by torrential rains earlier this week have killed at least 10 people in the capital, Port-au-Prince.

At least four neighbourhoods of the city – Carrefour, Cité Soleil, Delmas and Pétion-Ville, as well as the southern areas of Gressier and Les Palmes, have been badly affected by flooding that began on Monday night, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reported today.

OCHA said there are enough pre-positioned medical kits to assist 120,000 people and emergency shelters ready to house as many as 110,000 families, with trauma kits and cholera kits available as well.

Stocks of food supplies, such as cereals, pulses, vegetable oil and salt, are also available at short notice if required.

Blue helmets serving the UN peacekeeping force (MINUSTAH) and OCHA staff have been working with emergency officials and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) to assess the damages wrought by the rains and floods.

Peacekeepers have also transferred some internally displaced persons (IDPs), along with their belongings, to camps situated on safer ground.

MINUSTAH reported that it has helicopters on standby in case evacuations are needed and engineering equipment also available if required.

Last week the UN said that Haiti was better prepared than last year to handle the annual hurricane season, which officially began on 1 June.

But meteorologists have warned that this season could be unusually active, with as many as 18 major storms or hurricanes expected in the Caribbean region.