UN-HABITAT Executive Director Mrs. Anna Tibaijuka has sent a message of condolence to the President and people of Haiti following last week’s massive earthquake in that country.
Downtown Port-au-Prince Ravaged by Quake. Photo © www.un.org
At the same time, Mrs. Tibaijuka announced that through the United Nations Joint Flash Appeal, the agency was spearheading rehabilitation efforts worth some USD 11 million to help the victims suffering from the immediate effects of the earthquake.
“My heart goes out to the people of Haiti and on my own behalf and that of the entire UN-HABITAT family I wish to offer my heartfelt condolences and wish that peace and calm would prevail as you come to terms with this catastrophe,” she said.
A total of 200,000 people are now thought to have died following Tuesday's disaster and by Sunday evening some 70,000 bodies had already been buried in mass graves.
United Nations Secretary-General Mr. Ban Ki-moon’s spokesman Martin Nesirky said that 46 UN personnel were now confirmed dead and more than 500 are missing or unaccounted for in the rubble of the world body's six-storey headquarters in Port-au-Prince.
In Nairobi Mrs. Tibaijuka announced the agency’s rapid response to the emergency adding that UN-HABITAT was standing by to increase its presence in Haiti as the need arises.
The agency’s response targets provision of shelter, water and sanitation under the Emergency Shelter and Early Recovery Clusters.
Under these clusters, UN-HABITAT’s objective is to do a rapid structural damage estimate of buildings, analysis and comparison of satellite imagery, production of synthesis maps, training of local technicians, secure perimeters and recommendations for repairs to enable the use of buildings for emergency and immediate reoccupation.
The water and sanitation efforts seek to improve the health and environmental conditions of urban dwellers in the capital Port au Prince and other cities through the establishment of emergency solid waste collection and disposal services, reviving economic activity through cash transfer programming, creating citizens awareness and willingness to contribute towards the sustainable provision of these services.
Lastly, UN-HABITAT’s early recovery cluster targets rapid structural damage estimate of buildings and recommendations for repairs to enable the use of buildings for emergency and immediate reoccupation
Reliefweb Haiti page
Global Disaster Alert and Coordination Sysytem (GDACS)
Disaster Assessment Portal