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1.4m people in dire need of aid in Haiti: UN



Men remain at a shelter in Port-Salut, southwest of Port-au-Prince, on October 9, 2016, days after the passage of Hurricane Matthew through Haiti. (Photos by AFP)

United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has called for “a massive response” to provide “life-saving assistance” to the people of Haiti where Hurricane Matthew killed around 1,000 people.

On Monday, Ban added that around 1,4 million people are in need of aid, while over 300 schools have been rendered unusable and vast amounts of crops and food stocks have been destroyed by the hurricane.

“These numbers and needs are growing as more affected areas are reached… Some towns and villages have been almost wiped off the map,” he added.

The death toll is estimated to be around 1,000, but local officials with the central civil protection agency have so far confirmed 336 of the deaths.

Meanwhile, the UN has launched a $120-million appeal for international aid to help the poorest country of the Americas through the next few months.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon(L) speaks to journalists on the situation in Haiti in the aftermath of the devastation caused by Hurricane Matthew, October 10, 2016 at the UN in New York. 

“I call on the international community to show solidarity and generosity — and to work together effectively in responding to this emergency,” said Ban.

On Sunday, Matthew was downgraded to post-tropical cyclone, but when it hit Haiti’s southern coast on October 4, it was registered as a Category Four storm, with winds of 230 kilometers per hour.

At the time the country was dealing with a cholera outbreak, blamed on UN peacekeepers, which began after an earthquake in 2010. Since then, hundreds of thousands of people have been infected and over 9,000 have died.

A UN helicopter lands next to aid sent by the United States for the people affected by Hurricane Matthew, in Jeremie, southwest of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, on October 10, 2016. 

“I am developing a new approach to the cholera situation and this will encompass support for people affected by the disease and for efforts to build sound water, sanitation and health systems in order to help eliminate cholera in Haiti,” Ban added.

The UN has not legally accepted its role in introducing Cholera into the country, but Ban said the global body has “moral responsibility” to clear it up.

“This disaster makes it even more vital to significantly step up our support — and to do so right now,” he added.

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