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Posts Tagged ‘Haiti quake aftermath’

Haiti Quake Aftermath: Rape of Displaced People

Posted by feww on March 9, 2010

HAITI: Women at risk in the camps

PORT-AU-PRINCE, 9 March 2010 (IRIN) – Many women at the Jean-Marie Vincent site for displaced people (IDPs) in Haiti’s capital Port-au-Prince wash themselves inside their makeshift tents because the only alternative is to do so out in the open. Given the overcrowding and meagre security, this exposes them to the risk of attack or rape.

Going to the site’s latrines is also risky, especially at night, for there is no lighting and some toilets are isolated.

“We have not yet reached a standard of organization that respects women’s rights,” Smith Maximé of the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) in Haiti told IRIN.

“We have registered rape cases that occurred when women were in the latrines. When toilets are not secured – as in many of the camps – women are often attacked there,” he added.

“We are not safe here,” one woman in the Jean-Marie Vincent camp told IRIN, holding her two-month-old baby. “Three men attacked me as I walked to a latrine. They covered my face and my mouth and raped me.” Initially she said nothing but her pain was so intense, after three days she told some relatives.

The failure to meet established minimum disaster relief standards [http://www.sphereproject.org/content/view/44/83/lang,english/] is “creating serious security, privacy and dignity concerns”, according to the Gender in Humanitarian Response Working Group*.

“Increased lighting surrounding those latrines should be an immediate priority to ensure the safety of women and girls using sanitation facilities at night,” the Group said in a statement issued in late February.

“Increased attention must be paid to the provision of dedicated and private bathing facilities to reduce women’s current vulnerability to sexual violence. Though many women and girls bathed outdoors prior to the earthquake, the nature of many IDP sites (crowded living conditions, living near strangers) is creating new vulnerabilities to violence and exploitation, in particular at night, that did not necessarily exist before,” it said.

Crowded and dark

Overcrowding and lack of lighting in camps are part of the problem. In many camps there is no space between tents. Aid organizations and the government plan to move people from 21 of the most congested sites either back home, to host families or to land recently allotted by the authorities. In the meantime aid agencies are putting some security measures in place, such as installing lights.

“Protection is one of the major issues of concern when sites are over-congested,” Sara Ribeiro, protection coordinator with the International Organization for Migration, told IRIN. IOM is the lead agency for the group of agencies collectively tasked with organizing the management of camps for displaced people.

The Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC), [http://www.humanitarianinfo.org/iasc/pageloader.aspx] a group of UN and non-UN organizations that since 1992 has worked to harmonize humanitarian best practice, stipulates [http://oneresponse.info/crosscutting/gender/Documents/Gender%20ABC%20Haiti%20emergenc%2020100121.pdf] that humanitarian actors must ensure that the route to water and sanitation facilities is safe and that latrines are well lit and lockable from the inside.

Management

Ribeiro said another major problem was a lack of camp management agencies. As of 4 March just one-fifth of the 400 camps for displaced families had such agencies in place, she said.

“More agencies. need to take over site management,” she told IRIN. “That is the only way to prevent these things from happening. Because no amount of service delivery [medical care, food rations, water] is going to be able to respond to what happens when the sun sets.”

Community watch groups are forming in many sites; OCHA states in a 4 March report that these groups will need training to increase the protection of women and girls.

UNFPA is working with the authorities and local NGOs to revive a system of reporting sexual violence cases. “But our immediate focus is to disseminate information on available medical and psycho-social support, and to [put first] the rights and choices of the survivor,” Lina Abirafeh, GBV coordinator for UNFPA in Haiti, told IRIN.

The agency is compiling a list of hospitals and NGOs that provide medical and counselling services for distribution in the camps.

UN aid workers say no comprehensive statistics of rape in the camps are available but rape and impunity have long been widespread in Haiti, as IASC notes. In 2008 Amnesty International reported “shocking levels” of sexual violence against girls. [http://www.amnestyusa.org/document.php?id=ENGUSA20081201001]

np/am/mw

* The group comprises representatives of MINUSTAH-Human Rights, MINUSTAH-Gender Unit, UNIFEM, UNFPA, World Food Programme, IOM, UN Children’s Fund, and several NGOs, including the International Rescue Committee, American Refugee Committee, and International Medical Corps.

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Posted in camp rape, PORT-AU-PRINCE, rape in haiti, sexual violence, women's rights | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Haiti: Let Them Eat High Energy Biscuits

Posted by feww on January 19, 2010

Haiti Quake Disaster Update – Day 7

Bill Clinton’s New Assistant to Help Raise [and Divert] Haiti Quake Relief Funds

Can you believe this?

How could G.W. Bush be pathologically capable of doing good?

As the “former tenants of the White House” Join forces eying quake relief  funds that are being raised for Haiti, a news report confirmed yesterday that up to 40,000 high energy biscuits had been distributed among the two or so million starved residents of Port-au-Prince.

A Brief summary of events on Day 7 of Haiti quake :

Looters and scavengers are attacking any place they can find food, clothes, toys or other goods, then fighting over the loot among themselves.

Hungry, frustrated crowds are swarming locations used by the UN, U.S. military and international relief agencies, pleading for food, water and jobs, Reuters reported. “Jordanian peacekeepers kicked Haitians and fired in the air over a crowd clamoring outside the Port-au-Prince airport, witnesses said.”

Let Them Go Back to Africa

As various countries promised more cash the President of the African country of Senegal suggested that African nations should give Haitians the opportunity to resettle in “the land of their ancestors”.

“Africa should offer Haitians the chance to return home. It is their right,” Wade has reportedly said on his website.

Local media in Senegal quoted the officials as saying the West African country was willing to allocate fertile land to Haitians, Reuters reported.

“We haven’t moved for four days, only God knows how long we can survive like this, but there are no jobs and no houses,”  a single mother with four children, sheltering at one improvised camp said, Reuters reported.

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For More Information Visit Haiti Earthquake Disaster Links Page!

Posted in Haiti earthquake, Haiti EQ, Haiti fundraising scams, haiti quake, Haiti Quake Relief Fund | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Haiti EQ Disaster – Update 15 Jan

Posted by feww on January 15, 2010

Seismic Waves from ‘Heaven’ For Aid Organizations

Despite millions of dollars already donated to Haiti survivors, aid is only trickling in!

Most aid organizations, which at any rate only pass on only about FIVE percent of all donations received, run huge cash deficits because of their overheads, especially 6-figure wages to their executives,  and have to pay off their debts before worrying about mundane things like looking after the injured, starved and homeless victims of disasters.


Workers load some of the thousands of bodies that lie in the General Hospital downtown to transport them to a common grave in Port au Prince, January 14, 2009. Credit: REUTERS/UN Photo/Logan Abassi/Handout. More photos and video at: Haiti Quake Images

FEWW initially estimated the EQ casualties, the dead and the seriously injured, to be  20,000. This estimate was based on shakemaps, the time the quake occurred and several other factors. This estimate might prove to be wildly inaccurate, but that’s the best we’ve got right now.

The Red Cross estimates 45,000-50,000 people dead as a result of earthquake.To get such a definitive estimate, “no less than 45,000,” would take days if not weeks of painstaking research. It’s therefore  more likely that their estimate is a political and financially motivated statement. See footnote.

As luck often has it for the aid/charity mafia, however, the Haitian govt has decided the only way to deal with the mounting piles of dead bodies is to unceremoniously bulldoze them into mass graves.

That means no such luxuries as corpse identification, death certificates or even a prayer for the dead. What’s important right now, is to worry about the survivors, especially those still trapped, the injured, the starving and the homeless.

Truck drivers and bulldozer operators would be the only ones who could provide a reliable estimate as to the number of the dead [sic.]

“We have already buried 7,000 in a mass grave,” President Rene Preval said.

It’s not known whether the figure he quoted was an exact number or a rough estimate.

Pat Robertson’s Unparalleled Bigotry

Pat Robertson, the head bigot of American Evangelism, steals the bigotry biscuit, as usual, for making the most egregiously racist and inhuman remark. Robertson was quoted as saying Haiti had been “cursed” because of what he called a “pact with the devil” earlier in its history.

So here’s our question to Mr Robertson:

FEWW believes New York City could be struck by a megaquake (MQ) in the not so distant future.

If the NY MQ were to occur, would you stay faithful to your god and blame the destruction on Bloomberg, his tribe and Mammon?

Haitians react to televangelist Pat Robertson’s ‘devil pact’ remarks

Highlights of News Reports:

  • The survivors are desperate for water, food, medical supplies, lifting equipment and doctors.
  • There’s NO coordinated relief effort, many more trapped in the rubble, which could otherwise be saved, will die.
  • Obama soundbyte: “To the people of Haiti, we say clearly and with conviction, you will not be forsaken, you will not be forgotten.”
  • British PM Gordon Brown soundbyte:  ” [Haiti] must become the center of our world’s attention, the world’s compassion and the world’s humanitarian help.”
  • About 1,500 bodies were stacked inside and outside the mortuary by noon local time yesterday,  Reuters reported the director of Port-au-Prince’s general hospital as saying.
  • UNSG  BanKi-moon said it could be days before even an  estimate of the death toll from the quake could be made.

Kudos to Cuban Doctors

  • Cuba’s more than 300 doctors in Haiti stayed on after the earthquake and have continued to treat the injured.

Anger Grows Over Aid Delay

  • Angry survivors have staged protests, blocking roads in Port-au-Prince, reports say.  Two and a half days after the quake tens of thousands of people clamored for water, food and other basic needs. They are desperate for help to dig out their relatives from the ruble.
  • “Please do anything you can, these people have no water, no food, no medicine, nobody is helping us,” Reuters quoted a rescue worker as saying.

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Footnote:
Please help the victims, anyway you can. There are many ways to help the survivors. But donate money only to the organizations that you know and trust.

[If you believe  Pat Robertson’s BS, the victims need your help to break their pact with the devil.]

For More Information Visit Haiti Earthquake Disaster Links Page!

Posted in Earthquake Hazard, Haiti curse, Haiti earthquake, haiti quake update, Pat Robertson | Tagged: , , , , , , | 5 Comments »