Situation in Haiti after six months stabilizes but remains fragile

08:43, September 09, 2010      

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Haiti has successfully avoided a second wave disaster of epidemics or social unrest, UN Secretary-general Ban Ki-moon said in a statement issued here on Wednesday.

"With hundreds and thousands of people expected to remain in camps or in provided shelters over the coming year, the political, social and economic situation will remain fragile," the secretary- general added.

His statement was based on information of a new report released by MINUSTAH, the UN stabilization mission in Haiti, to review the situation six months after a devastating earthquake hit the country.

On Nov. 28, Haiti will elect a new president and a new parliament.

Referring to these elections, Ban said that "the presidential and legislative elections must be credible and legitimate in order to bring in a president and government with a clear and uncontested mandate to lead the reconstruction progress."

To resettle earthquake victims and the urban poor, an ongoing clear, consistent and comprehensive strategy is required, Ban said, noting that "protecting the displaced population and vulnerable groups is a key priority for MINUSTAH and its international partners."

With Haiti currently receding from media attention, Ban called upon donors and other international supporters not to forget the magnitude of the January earthquake.

According to the report, current challenges remain to clarify land, since the most vulnerable members of Haitian society lack land on which they can build, as well as health services. There is still a distinct need to focus on spontaneous settlements where some of the greatest health and security threats arise, the report said.

Other challenges include restructuring the destroyed infrastructure, and overcoming sharply increased food insecurity, in a country where many already struggled to survive.

On Jan. 12, a powerful earthquake hit Haiti, resulting in more than 220,000 deaths, including 96 UN peacekeepers. It delivered a severe blow to the country's already shaky economy and infrastructure.

Source: Xinhua


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