UN praises US efforts - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

UN praises US efforts



















(Haiti earthquake survivors receive a humanitarian meal distributed
by the U.S. Military)


GENEVA. - The United Nations is dismissing criticism over how the U.S. controls the Port-au-Prince airport.
     
U.N. spokeswoman Elisabeth Byrs defended U.S. efforts, saying the airport wouldn't be working without U.S. military help and crediting the U.S. with bringing great aid and expertise to the impoverished nation.
     
Her comments come after an agreement Monday to ensure that the U.S. would give aid flights priority in landing in the Haitian capital. The U.S. had been criticized for giving military and rescue aircraft top landing rights.
     
Byrs said the U.N. was in charge of coordinating aid, but she declined to say how its relationship with the U.S. worked, saying American missions didn't require U.N. authorization.

Violence still keeping aid from flowing

Aid to quake victims is slowly increasing in Haiti but relief workers say pockets of violence in the capital of Port-au-Prince are still an obstacle.
     
The UN is expected to temporarily provide more peacekeepers for Haiti.
     
The European Commission's latest estimate is 200,000 dead and 1.5 million homeless.
     
More food, water and supplies from Port-au-Prince's airport have been reaching people in need, but the port remains blocked.
     
The U.N. World Food Program says it expects to feed 97,000 Haitians, but it needs 100 million prepared meals over the next 30 days. The group is appealing for more government donations and U.N. humanitarian chief John Holmes says not all 15 planned U.N. food distribution points are up and running.

Scope of disaster widens amid glimmers of hope

The latest casualty reports say the death toll from last week's earthquake in Haiti could be as high as 200,000.

The European Commission also says 1.5 million people are homeless.

Story continues below...

 



















(
Haiti Disaster Relief)


Meanwhile, aid to quake victims has increased, but relief workers say pockets of violence in the capital of Port-au-Prince are slowing food, water and supply deliveries.
    
Haitian pharmacist Raymond Saintfort says, "I simply don't understand what is taking the foreigners so long," but today dawns with new potential for reinforcements to aid in
security and relief efforts. The United Nations Security Council is expected to approve additional peacekeeping forces. Some 2,000 U.S. Marines are parked offshore on ships.
     
U.N. humanitarian chief John Holmes says some planned U.N. food distribution points are not up and running. And the U.N. World Food Program says it needs 100 million prepared meals over the next 30 days.

 

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