Jan 18

Read and weep:

US doctors beg their government to admit critically injured children from Haiti (Times):

“We can’t evacuate any Haitian patients to the US,” John McDonald, from the University of Miami Medical School, said. “Our country treats the Haitians like s***. The people land, they get sent back. When Cubans land, they open restaurants.”

Another doctor at the tented clinic said that she was so desperate at being forced to discharge children still in grave danger of dying from infection that she wanted to “scream and scratch people”. For want of bed space “we are sending wounded children back on to the streets of Port-au-Prince with no plan even for how they will be fed,” said Jennifer Furn, from Harvard Medical School.

Dr Furn’s task was complicated by instructions from the UN to vacate the tents by 8am yesterday. “The UN say they need these tents as a staging post for regular personnel,” Dr Furn said. “It’s breaking my heart. How can I send children with wounds and head bandages out into the streets?”

French minister criticizes US aid role in Haiti: ‘This is about helping Haiti, not about occupying Haiti.’ (AP)

So this is ‘full American support’???

Robert Gates: “I don’t know how … [the US] government could have responded faster or more comprehensively than it has.”

….US President Barack Obama pledged full American support in a phone call to his Haitian counterpart Rene Preval. Source: BBC NEWS

Full ‘Katrina’ support!

I could have uploaded HORRIBLE pictures piled up with corpses, but choose not to, because I want you to be able to get some sleep.

As the UN defers decision-making to an almost non-existent Haitian Government, looting is rife. One woman was reported to have been decapitated

PORT-AU-PRINCE (Reuters) – U.S. troops will help keep order on Haiti’s increasingly lawless streets, the country’s president said on Sunday as desperate earthquake survivors waited for food, water and medicine.

World leaders pledged massive aid programmes to rebuild Haiti but desperate earthquake survivors were still waiting on Sunday for food, water and medicine.

Five days after a 7.0 magnitude quake killed up to 200 000 people, international rescue teams clawed away at the rubble of collapsed buildings in the wrecked capital, Port-au-Prince, in a race against time to find more survivors.

But logistical logjams kept major relief from reaching the hundreds of thousands of hungry Haitians waiting for help, many of them sheltering in makeshift camps on streets strewn with debris and decomposing bodies. Continue reading »

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Jan 13

• Tens of thousands lose homes in 7.0 magnitude quake

• UN headquarters, schools and hospitals collapse

Footage of the earthquake’s aftermath. Contains disturbing images Link to this video

René Préval, the president of Haiti, has described the devastation after last night’s earthquake as “unimaginable” as governments and aid agencies around the world rushed into action.

Préval described how he had been forced to step over dead bodies and heard the cries of those trapped under the rubble of the national parliament. “Parliament has collapsed. The tax office has collapsed. Schools have collapsed. Hospitals have collapsed,” he told the Miami Herald. “There are a lot of schools that have a lot of dead people in them.” Préval said he thought thousands of people had died in the quake.

A 7.0 magnitude quake – the biggest recorded in this part of the Caribbean and the largest to hit Haiti in more than 200 years – rocked Port-au-Prince, destroying a hospital and sending houses tumbling into ravines. Continue reading »

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Apr 10

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti – A desperate appeal from the president Wednesday failed to restore order to Haiti’s shattered capital, and bands of looters sacked stores, warehouses and government offices.

Gunfire rang out from the wealthy suburbs in the hills to the starving slums below as 9,000 U.N. peacekeepers were unable to halt a frenzy of looting and violence that has grown out of protests over rising food prices.

Police officers disperse demonstrators in Port-au-Prince, Wednesday, April 09, 2008.
(AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos)

Many of the protesters are demanding the resignation of the U.S.-backed president, Rene Preval, and on Tuesday U.N. peacekeepers had to fire rubber bullets and tear gas to drive away a mob that tried to storm his palace.

He delivered his first public comments Wednesday, nearly a week into the protests. With his job on the line, Preval urged Congress to cut taxes on imported food and appealed to the rioters to go home.

“The solution is not to go around destroying stores,” he said. “I’m giving you orders to stop.”

But gunfire rang out around the palace after the speech, as peacekeepers tried to drive away people looting surrounding stores.

The streets remained in the control of bands of young men carrying sticks and rocks, who set up roadblocks of burning tires and stopped passing cars. Businesses were closed and most people locked themselves indoors, as mobs looted stores, warehouses and government offices. Continue reading »

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