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Old 01-17-2010   #1
Rex Brynen
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Default multilateral humanitarian operations in Haiti

We don't really have much of a thread for serious discussion of current multilateral humanitarian operations in Haiti, so I thought I would start one. (Moderators may want to move it to the "Americas" section, although it isn't really conflict-related.)

In addition to media coverage, UN OCHA's Reliefweb is an outstanding source of current information, updates, and regularly updated maps of operations.
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Old 01-17-2010   #2
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Default UN OCHA Haiti sitrep

United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs

Haiti • Earthquake
Situation Report #5
16 January 2010

Quote:
HIGHLIGHTS/KEY PRIORITIES

• Fuel for humanitarian operations will only last 2 to 3 more days before operations will be forced to
cease. A fuel distribution mechanism is required urgently.
• 27 Urban Search and Rescue teams are deployed across priority locations with approximately
1,500 rescue workers and 115 dogs. There have been 58 live rescues so far by these teams.
• A joint UNDAC/EU/WFP assessment found 80-90 percent of the buildings destroyed in Leogane
and 40-50 percent in Carrefour and Gressier.
• Priorities for assistance continue to be search and rescue, medical services, shelter, food and
water.
• IOM estimates that 200,000 families (up to one million people) are in need of immediate shelter and
non-food assistance.
• Major health concerns include untreated trauma wounds and infection of wounds.
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Old 01-17-2010   #3
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Default security and aid distribution

UK Channel 4 has a good short video report on the security challenges of delivering assistance (first video on the page).

Also, from DoD:

Security Role in Haiti to Gain Prominence, Keen Says

By John J. Kruzel
American Forces Press Service

Quote:
WASHINGTON, Jan. 17, 2010 – The security side of U.S. humanitarian relief operations in Haiti will take on a larger role as violence increases in the aftermath of the magnitude 7 earthquake that struck five days ago, the top U.S. commander in Haiti said today. Video

In the midst of the massive international relief effort there, Army Lt. Gen. P.K. Keen said some incidents of violence have impeded the U.S. military’s ability to support the government of Haiti.
“Our principal mission [is] humanitarian assistance, but the security component is going to be an increasing part of that,” he said today on ABC’s This Week. “And we're going to have to address that along with the United Nations, and we are going to have to do it quickly.”
Keen said they would monitor closely the "increasing incidents of violence."
"We do need, obviously, a safe and secure environment to continue and do the best we can with the humanitarian assistance," he said on Fox News.
and, from the National Post:

Security crucial in Haiti aid effort
Sheldon Alberts, Canwest News Service
Published: Friday, January 15, 2010

Quote:
WASHINGTON -- A U.S. army brigade of 3,500 soldiers from the 82nd Airborne Division will join more than 2,200 U.S. Marines in Haiti by week's end as worries mount over the potential for post-earthquake unrest in a nation long beset by violence, drug crime and gang warfare.

The deployment ordered by Barack Obama, the U.S. President, is the U.S. military's largest to the Caribbean nation since September 1994, when several thousand Marines landed in Port-au-Prince to return exiled president Jean-Bertrand Aristide to power.

But even as the Pentagon rushes to meet urgent security and humanitarian needs, leaders from the United States and other Western nations, including Canada, are grappling with a bigger question: Will the massive international response to the earthquake mark the start of a long-term commitment to prevent Haiti from sliding once again into crime-ridden chaos?

"All of the effort is in saving lives right now and that's as it should be. But even while you have all your attention into saving lives, you've got to be planning for a much larger security apparatus for weeks and months to come," said Kara McDonald, a Haiti expert with the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington.
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Old 01-18-2010   #4
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Default OCHA Haiti sitrep, 17 January

Haiti: Earthquake Situation Report #6

Source: United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)
Date: 17 Jan 2010

Quote:
I. HIGHLIGHTS/KEY PRIORITIES

- Search and rescue teams extracted 13 more live rescues on 16 January bringing the total by these teams to 71 people, a record amount. A small number of additional rescues were reported today.

- Fuel remains an issue for humanitarian operations. Fuel restrictions are now in place. Some 10,000 gallons were trucked in from Santo Domingo on 17 January.

- The port remains unusable; incoming vessels are being re-directed to Cap-Haitien. The Portau-Prince airport is heavily congested.

- Four distribution sites will be established at Petionville Club, two soccer fields in Delmas, and on Place Dessaline on Champ de Mars.

- Tents and shelter material will be required for temporary shelter sites in the coming week. At least 20,000 tents will be needed with only 3-4,000 tents already in country.

- The Secretary-General, the Emergency Relief Coordinator and other UN senior officials, visited the disaster affected areas and met with Government and UN counterparts.
full report here
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Old 01-18-2010   #5
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Default What do the images show?

I've not looked far for imagery of the disaster, but this website has a series: http://cryptome.org/info/haiti-quake/haiti-quake-01.htm and three other sets of photos.

What I did note was the aerial imagery of residential areas, which suggests homes were intact; others taken from the ground suggest homes have collapsed downwards onto the ground floor.

Anyone able to interpret better than this "armchair"? Calling Entropy!
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Old 01-18-2010   #6
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Default

Both MSNBC and FOX news are reporting that the Air Force is preparing C-17's to begin Air Dropping food,water,etc.
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Old 01-18-2010   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slapout9 View Post
Both MSNBC and FOX news are reporting that the Air Force is preparing C-17's to begin Air Dropping food,water,etc.
Air-dropping pallets (or even even loose bags of some foodstuffs) into secured drop zones can work fine--this is sometimes done by the WFP, for example.

Air-dropping supplies directly onto disaster-affected populations can be a disaster: people get crushed, mobs form, violence can erupt.

Hopefully they are thinking of doing the former (as a way of getting around the airport capacity bottleneck) and not the latter.
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Old 01-19-2010   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davidbfpo View Post
I've not looked far for imagery of the disaster, but this website has a series: http://cryptome.org/info/haiti-quake/haiti-quake-01.htm and three other sets of photos.

What I did note was the aerial imagery of residential areas, which suggests homes were intact; others taken from the ground suggest homes have collapsed downwards onto the ground floor.

Anyone able to interpret better than this "armchair"? Calling Entropy!
Presumably part of the problem occurs when buildings pancake downwards, leaving a semi-intact roof but several crushed floors below.

UNOSAT has some imagery on the diasaster (most notably, identification of IDP concentrations and route obstructions) available here.
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