UN Says Shelter is Top Priority in Haiti

Building transitional shelter for displaced earthquake victims is the top priority in Haiti as the country’s rainy season looms nearer, said John Holmes, the U.N. undersecretary-general for humanitarian affairs and emergency relief coordinator, during a press briefing in Geneva.

“Essentially the idea is to help people where they are, either in the ruins of their homes or next to their homes where their structure is unsound or in the spontaneous settlement sites around Port-au-Prince and elsewhere, the aim being to give them better shelter materials than they obviously had in the first place,” Holmes explained.

He said tarpaulins, tents, plastic sheets and ropes are already being provided to earthquake victims. But Holmes pointed out the need to build latrines and other sanitation facilities to prevent disease outbreak in earthquake sites.

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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.

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