Friday, January 15, 2010

UNICEF responds to Haitian earthquake


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via The Cable by Josh Rogin on 1/15/10

This story was provided to The Cable by UNICEF to accompany the above video, which shows footage of the UNICEF rescue mission there. UNICEF has created a Haiti children's relief fund at

The headquarters of the United Nations (UN) Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) in Port-au-Prince sustained serious damage along with other UN installations, following a 7.0-magnitude quake that struck Haiti yesterday shortly before 5 p.m. local time.

At least 150 UN staff are missing including the mission chief, Hedi Annabi and his deputy special representative Luiz Carlos da Costa.

Troops, mostly from Brazil, serving with the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti ( MINUSTAH ) have been working through the night to reach those trapped under the rubble, and several badly injured people have been rescued and transported to the mission's logistics base which remains intact.

Alain Le Roy, Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping, told journalists today that fewer than ten UN staff were pulled out of the collapsed Christopher Hotel, with some of them confirmed to have died.

Buildings and infrastructure in Port-au-Prince suffered extensive damage, while basic services, including water and electricity are near the brink of collapse. The full extent of casualties is still unknown.

MINUSTAH was set up in 2004 and currently has more than 9,000 military and police personnel and nearly 2,000 civilian staff. Some 3,000 of the mission's troops and police are in and around Port-au-Prince, and will help to maintain order and assist in relief efforts. They have also started to clear some of the capital's main roads to allow aid and rescuers to reach those in need.


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