MSF: Thousands of Haitians Have yet to See Aid

Actual aid on the ground is insufficient to meet the needs of the Haitian population affected by the Jan. 12 earthquake, according to Christopher Stokes, general director of Medicins San Frontieres in Brussels, who recently returned from the quake-hit country. Real-term response, he observed, is “broadly insufficient” despite the extensive mobilization of aid and funds and the hundreds of aid groups working on the ground. Shelter and sanitation remain the biggest challenges, he added.

Odette Gadenne, who has been overseeing MSF’s activities in Haiti for the past weeks, also pointed out the shortage of actual aid, noting that assistance given to 20 of the biggest resettlement sites in Port-au-Prince is incomplete.

“There are dozens of other sites which still lack even the most elementary aid,” Gadenne said in an interview posted on the MSF Web site. “Thousands of Haitians have still not seen any aid.”

Gadenne explained that MSF has treated more than 41,000 patients to date and distributed relief items and tents to help address the lack of shelter.

“But we are now reaching our limits,” she said. “We hardly can do more.”

Gadenne did say that MSF will continue supporting operations on the ground.

About the author

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    Ivy Mungcal

    As former senior staff writer, Ivy Mungcal contributed to several Devex publications. Her focus is on breaking news, and in particular on global aid reform and trends in the United States, Europe, the Caribbean, and the Americas. Before joining Devex in 2009, Ivy produced specialized content for U.S. and U.K.-based business websites.