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Sunday, January 17, 2010

From UNICEF: Haiti: Earthquake Situation Report, 15 January 2010 (OCHA)

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As a follow up of yesterday's post, I am forwarding a message to those who donated to UNICEF received from Caryl M. Stern, President & CEO of U.S. Fund for UNICEF. Ms Stern told us that:

... we've decided to take the unprecedented step of sharing UN internal situation reports so you have the latest information from the ground. These reports provide extraordinary, first-hand detail to show you some of the work being done to save the 2 million children at risk. Already the U.S. Fund for UNICEF has committed over $11 MILLION in relief to Haiti.

One Web 2.0 based factor I am going to make special note of is Tracing Family Members in Haiti through ICRC Website ICRC has activated a website [] for tracing family members within Haiti.

She also asked us:

P.S. Remind those you know that if they would like to help, the U.S. Fund has waived all administrative fees for anyone donating to Haiti relief efforts, so that 100% of every dollar donated will go directly to save the children of Haiti.


The following report from the Office of Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) has been edited to remove internal contact information and to clarify abbreviations and subject headlines.

The mission of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) is to mobilize and coordinate effective and principled humanitarian action in partnership with national and international actors.

Haiti – Earthquake
Situation Report #4
15 January 2010

This report was issued by the Office of Coordination for Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), New York. The next report will be issued on or around 16 January 2010.

-- Logistics and the lack of transport remain the key constraints to the delivery of aid. Needs are still being identified as access becomes possible and as assessments begin to take place.
-- Displaced populations are currently scattered across multiple locations where there is open space. Temporary shelters urgently need to be established.
-- Fifteen sites have been identified for distribution of relief items. World Food Program reached 13,000 people today with food, jerry cans and water purification tablets (provided by International Office for Migration (IOM)).
-- 26 search-and-rescue teams are on the ground and deployed to priority sites. No additional urban search-and-rescue teams should be deployed at this stage.
-- A Flash Appeal for US$562 million was launched in New York today to cover 3 million people for six months.


180 Tons Delivered
Flights carrying humanitarian aid are arriving in Port-au-Prince with medical supplies, medical teams, search-and-rescue teams, food and non-food items. A total of 180 tons of relief supplies have arrived in-country so far. Operations are heavily constrained due to the lack of fuel, transport, communications and handling capacity at the airport. Some flights are being re-routed through Santo Domingo airport, which is also becoming congested.

Focus: Search and Rescue
Response efforts are focused on search and rescue, medical assistance, the disposal of dead bodies and providing temporary shelter. There is also a need for food and water purification tablets. Fifteen distribution centres have been identified in Port-au-Prince for the distribution of relief aid, including high-energy biscuits and ready-to-eat meals.

Field Hospitals Coming Online
Twenty-six search-and-rescue teams are on the ground and deployed to priority sites. No further teams are required. It was also announced there are sufficient offers of field hospitals. Two field hospitals arrived in-country yesterday. Three more were expected to arrive today from Colombia, Jordan and Brazil. Two US field hospitals will arrive in the coming days one on Saturday that will be deployed next to the Coast Guard clinic at Killick and the other will arrive on 19 January with a 25 bed, two operating room unit with surgical teams.

Identification of bodies remains a problem, in conjunction with assigning responsibility for the recovery of bodies. The Government is identifying various grave sites. No reliable figures are available on the extent of fatalities.

Lack of Clean Water and Sanitation
World Health Organization considers water and sanitation a priority, given that only 50 percent of Haiti's population normally has access to clean water. There are 13 trucks of bottled water, courtesy of a Brazilian private company, arriving from the Dominican Republic today. Hospitals have been badly affected by water shortages, according to ICRC.

An unidentified number of hospitals are still functioning, but structural damage assessments need to be conducted to establish if the constructions are safe. ICRC workers in Port-au-Prince distributed medical assistance to five major hospitals and clinics, and to smaller facilities set up by local doctors in areas with a high concentration of earthquake survivors.

Makeshift camps for Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) are scattered throughout the affected areas. UNICEF is collaborating with World Food Programme to share cargo space on a flight that will leave on 16 January from Dubai,

All Schools In Port-au-Prince Have Collapsed
The Government reported that all schools in Port-au-Prince have collapsed, so a 15-day school closure has been announced. Re-establishing radio transmission capacity is a priority to reach approximately 80 percent of the Port-au-Prince population.

Tracing Family Members in Haiti through ICRC Website
ICRC has activated a website [] for tracing family members within Haiti. The aim is to accelerate the process of restoring contact between separated family members. It is managed by ICRC, in cooperation with the tracing services of the Haitian Red Cross Society and of National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies throughout the world.

Haiti is currently at UN Security Phase 3. This will implicate ongoing operations in terms of limiting the ability to move around the city and work at night (which is also hindered by the lack of electricity). Patrols reported that the situation is calm in general, but there are reports of stone throwing at passing vehicles, looting and acts of vandalism. ICRC has inspected several prisons. The central prison was completely destroyed, meaning up to 4,000 prisoners have escaped.

International Office for Migration (IOM) staff at Haiti's border with the Dominican Republic report that although the situation is calm, traffic is increasing. International Office for Migration (IOM) reports a 10 percent increase in the number of Haitians trying to cross the border at the Jimaní border. A similar influx of people has been witnessed in the northern Haitian cities of St Marc, Gonaives and Cap Haitien, which were less affected by the earthquake.

A Flash Appeal was launched today in New York for $562 million to assist an estimated 3 million severely affected people over the next six months. It presents a rapidly developed initial response plan and funding requests, based on available information, estimates and inference. Twelve NGOs, 16 UN organizations and the International Organization for Migration are included in the appeal.

Acting Special Representative Edmond Mulet has arrived in-country and has assumed full control over MINUSTAH. Assistant Secretary General Tony Banbury will serve as the deputy SRSG. MINUSTAH and the humanitarian community will begin joint daily media briefings at the logistics base starting on 16 January.

The country team in Haiti has already mobilized five clusters: Logistics (Lead: World Food Program); Camp Coordination and Camp Management (Lead: International Office for Migration (IOM)); WASH (Lead: UNICEF); Health (Lead: World Health Organization); Food (Lead: World Food Program). In addition, it is planned to mobilize the following clusters: Agriculture (Lead: Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)) [it is expected that Food and Agriculture will merge in-country to form the 'Food Security Cluster']; Protection (Lead: OHCHR); Nutrition (Lead: UNICEF); Education (Lead: UNICEF); Emergency Telecoms: (Lead: World Food Program); Early Recovery (Lead: UNDP).

Global clusters are in the process of deploying dedicated coordination capacity to Haiti. All clusters have been requested to coordinate the movement of goods through the Logistics Cluster to avoid a backlog of goods at the airport. It is also critical to ensure harmonization of needs assessment, within and between clusters.

The US military is dispatching a Navy aircraft carrier and large-deck amphibious ship, as well as military transport aircraft and assessment teams to Haiti. The ship is expected to arrive today carrying, among other items, 12 helicopters. It will assume control of air traffic.

The Logistics Cluster recommends that Santo Domingo is used as the primary entry point for humanitarian relief destined for Haiti due to Port-au-Prince airport operating at diminished capacity. Some flights have been diverted to the Dominican Republic and Turks and Caicos Islands. There is no fuel available. Aircraft should plan at least one hour of holding fuel and enough extra fuel to get to a secondary airport after departing.

1) Health (World Health Organization), Logistics (World Food Program) and Telecomms (World Food Program) have already deployed large teams which are scheduled to arrive with equipment in Port-au-Prince in the next 24-48 hours, access permitted; WASH (UNICEF) and Emergency Shelter (International Office for Migration (IOM)/Red Cross Red Crescent (IFRC)) are deploying smaller teams and have stand-by teams ready; Protection (OHCHR) will send a cluster-coordinator, while Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHRC) is dispatching a three-person team to support protection activities; Camp Coordination and Camp Management (International Office for Migration (IOM)) has deployed a specialist to look into Camp Coordination and Camp Management issues given the likelihood of this sector to be established.

The mission of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) is to mobilize and coordinate effective and principled humanitarian action in partnership with national and international actors.

2) Three hangers of warehouse space have been identified at the Port-au-Prince airport for storage and inventory of relief items.

The port remains non operational. The seaport in the Dominican Republic is being assessed for its suitability for receiving relief supplies. Panama is also likely to be used as a logistics hub.

Main urban roads in Port-au-Prince (including the airport road) are being cleared by MINUSTAH and the Brazilian battalion. Major axes are open. The road from Jacmel to Port-au-Prince is passable for "all terrain" vehicles (i.e. 4WD). The road from Santo Domingo to Port-au-Prince is becoming congested with the movement of personnel and cargo.

The World Food Program, United Nations Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS) is launching a project to provide air support to the humanitarian community (proposal for 2 helicopters, 2 passenger fixed-wing aircraft and 1 cargo aircraft).

At the request of the Resident Coordinator/Humanitarian Coordinator, World Food Program has submitted a formal request to MSB (former SRSA) for base-camp modules to support UN humanitarian workers due to the destruction of the UN compound. MSB is arranging for the equipment and support staff to run a 200-person camp. It is scheduled to arrive in Port-au-Prince on 16 and 17 January.

The Logistics Cluster will co-locate a liaison officer within the MINUSTAH EJOC for the duration of the emergency to facilitate coordination.

World Food Program distributions today included high-energy biscuits, jerry cans and water purification tablets (provided by International Office for Migration (IOM)) to 13,000 people in the following areas: Place Boyer, Champs de mars, Delmas 33 and Hospital de la Paix. There remains an urgent need for ready-to-eat foods (Meals-Ready-to-Eat and High-Energy Biscuits). World Food Program aims to assist 1 million people in the next 15 days.

World Food Program national staff have done assessments in the areas where they live, providing reliable information on people in need and distribution locations.

World Health Organization has deployed specialists to establish supply chains, and water and sanitation engineers to help restore shattered water and sanitation networks, communicable disease specialists, experts in trauma care, and public-health officers World Health Organization can advise on the management of dead bodies. At least 13 countries in the Americas have confirmed the deployment of medical teams.

Pan American Health Organization (PAHO)/World Health Organization is establishing a field office in Jimaní (Dominican Republic) to serve as a permanent bridge between this border city and to Port-au-Prince (approximately a 90-minute journey). The office will be a staging/transfer point for emergency humanitarian supplies and personnel needed in the Haiti response operation.

Warehouses in the Dominican Republic lack space for supplies, and new donations are coming in rapidly. Pan American Health Organization (PAHO)/World Health Organization has been collaborating with USAID and Management Sciences for Health (MSH) to exchange logistics information regarding medicines and medical supplies. The LSS/SUMA humanitarian supply management system will be installed in Jimaní to handle the management and distribution of resources.

United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) participated in a joint UN mission to hospitals along the border on 13 and 14 January. Patients are crossing the border to get treatment, but services are insufficient. United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) is concerned with the lack of supplies, especially for pregnant and delivering women. United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) is working to strengthen the capacity of these overstretched facilities with health kits and support staff, including midwives, nurses and doctors.

It is estimated that one quarter of the impacted population are women of child-bearing age, with thousands of pregnant women among them. Haiti has the highest rate of maternal death in the region: 670 deaths per 100,000 live births. With limited or no access to health facilities, pregnant women are at an even greater risk for complications and death related to pregnancy and childbirth.

The mission of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) is to mobilize and coordinate effective and principled humanitarian action in partnership with national and international actors.

WASH coordination has been established in Port-au-Prince. Meetings are taking place every day at 3 p.m. local time at the DINEPA (Direction Nationale de l'Eau Potable et Assainissement) office in Port-au-Prince. One WASH Cluster response team member has arrived in Port-au-Prince. One WASH specialist from UNICEF is in the Dominican Republic. No further information about WASH activities is available at this time due to communications constraints.

International Organization for Migration (International Office for Migration (IOM)) reports that the urgent needs for shelter are tents, jerry cans, aquatabs, kitchen and hygiene kits, mosquito nets, plastic sheeting, water bladders and tools, which should allow for the quick establishment of temporary settlements for the displaced.

Phone communication remains difficult in most of the capital. However, text messages are getting through. Internet connections are possible in some areas, but constant access remains difficult.

Ericsson Response is planning to repair the mobile network system, with the support of DFS/DPKO and World Food Program. Ericsson Response volunteers will deploy shortly to ensure proper installation and service delivery for approximately 1,000 subscribers to be connected. OCHA will take the coordination role for service allocation for the humanitarian community.

At the global Protection Cluster meeting, Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHRC)) was asked to support the OHCHR in its role as leader of the Protection Cluster in Haiti. The OHCHR is planning to send a protection team of three to four Human Rights Officers. Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHRC) will contribute with three additional protection staff. Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHRC)'s role will focus on protection, including border monitoring.

United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) says that it is crucial to put mechanisms in place to prevent and address gender-based violence. In Haiti, 27 percent of women are reported to be victims of some type of physical violence. Sexual and gender-based violence are often exacerbated in these extreme situations, posing a serious concern for women and young girls affected by the earthquake.

The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) office remains intact. Ten cars are available in Les Cayes, Fort Liberté, Gonaïves, Hinches and Jimani. Two experienced staff will arrive in Port-au-Prince on 18 January to begin Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)'s agriculture sector assessment activities and contribute to coordination activities. In the coming week, more emergency personnel will arrive in Haiti to support the current Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) team.

The Humanitarian Country Team, under the United Nations Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary General /Humanitarian Coordinator, holds primary responsibility for the coordination and provision of humanitarian assistance by the UN and partners. In the context of the integrated mission, MINUSTAH's operational capacity may be drawn upon in order to support the UN's operational response to natural disasters and other major humanitarian emergencies. The level of casualties sustained by Government civil servants and the damage to public buildings has significantly reduced the capacity of national authorities to lead and coordinate the response.

Concerns are raised that a large incidence of unsolicited and uncoordinated influx of humanitarian personnel and supplies entering into the country could stretch limited, critical logistical resources and impact the delivery of assistance. NGO consortia have been asked to play a role in monitoring and assessing the capabilities of voluntary organizations wishing to help.

The United Nations Disaster Assessment & Coordination (UNDAC) team continues to coordinate the On-Site Operations and Coordination Center (OSOCC) that has been established near the MINUSTAH logbase. A Senior OCHA Civil-Military Coordination Officer has been dispatched to Washington to discuss coordination efforts with USAID and the U.S. military.

The mission of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) is to mobilize and coordinate effective and principled humanitarian action in partnership with national and international actors.

The Haiti Flash Appeal for US$562 million was launched today in New York. The appeal was prepared in coordination with Haitian authorities. It represents 12 NGOs, 16 UN organizations and the International Organization for Migration, and is based on their need to assist an estimated 3 million severely affected people over an initial period of six months.

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