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Haiti - Social : Latest data on the effects of the passage of Sandy
03/11/2012 13:47:57

Haiti - Social : Latest data on the effects of the passage of Sandy
At a press briefing by the information service of the United Nations, in Geneva on Friday, Jens Laerke for the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), provided a better picture of the impact of passage of Sandy in Haiti, outlining 60 victims he mentioned that overall, 1.8 million people had been affected.

In Haiti, floodwater had been receding since Sunday but more than 18,000 homes have been flooded, damaged or destroyed. There had been damage to roads and public buildings, including schools and hospitals and other critical infrastructure.

In the camps, the most vulnerable IDPs , mainly in Port-au-Prince, were evacuated before the passage of Sandy and many of these evacuees had now returned home, though 1,500 people remained in 15 shelters.

Food security in the medium term was of concern as Haiti was now struggling with the combined impact of Storms Sandy and Isaac, which hit in August 2012, as well as drought. Preliminary estimates showed that food security had been acutely affected, with up to two million people at risk of malnutrition.

In the shorter term although there were sufficient stocks to cover immediate needs, the effect of the two storms had depleted available supplies and replenishment was urgently needed. An emergency revision of the Consolidated Appeal (CAP) was being considered to accommodate increased needs arising from the impact of Sandy.

Tarik Jasarevic, the spokesperson of the World Health Organization (WHO) declared "[...] in many places poor sanitary conditions could increase the risk of water-bourne diseases such as cholera and other diarrheal diseases. Sandy has destroyed on its passage 20 Cholera Treatment Centers (CTC) [...] In Baradères, teams of Doctors Without Borders-Holland, PAHO/WHO, International Medical Corps (IMC), and the Ministry of Health of Haiti continue to ensure the permanence to treat people [...] An increase in the number of cholera cases have been reported, particularly in the South, the Southeast, the southern part of the department of Artibonite, and the West of teh country [...] This rise in cases could not yet be attributed to the passage of Sandy, and field teams continued to participate in monitoring the situation."

Answering questions he said that "every cholera outbreak was a crisis, and the situation in Haiti was one of the biggest outbreaks ever. More people were needed on the ground, with many health providers having already left due to a lack of funds."

Chris Lom said the International Organization for Migration had distributed cholera prevention kits packed with chlorine, oral rehydration salts and water purification Aquatabs to over 6,000 families in 25 priority camps. IOM had also supported the return of 1,250 people evacuated ahead of the passage of Sandy from 11 camps considered at high risk of flooding.

The World Food Programme (WFP) and its partners are distributing food aid to affected people, mainly energy biscuits. Drinking water, water purification products, hygiene kits and non-food items are also distributed by the government and UN partners.

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