Haitians are being rewarded for looting with more UN aid. The island nation that the Clinton Foundation “saved” after the earthquake in 2010, appears to be in need of yet more “saving” as hunger and disease have struck in the wake of Hurricane Matthew.
Relief food and medicines are being hi-jacked by locals who blockade roads to stop passing trucks, in order to steal the contents.
Haitians were also looting United Nations provisions on Saturday during a short visit by outgoing UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, but while he condemned the rampant criminality more aid was promised.
Ban also visited a school housing hurricane victims where the locals shouted at their visitor: “Our houses were destroyed. … Help us!”
“We understand the impatience and the anger of the population who are waiting for emergency relief. We are doing all we can to facilitate the arrival of the assistance soon as possible,” Ban said.
“I firmly condemn all attacks against humanitarian convoys. Today I personally witnessed a WFP (World Food Program) truck being attacked,” Ban said during his visit to Haiti.
“We are going to mobilize as many resources and as much medical support as we can to first of all stop the cholera epidemic and second support the families of the victims,” Ban said at a news conference. He promised a new trustee fund to treat the cholera outbreak.
The Category 4 hurricane blasted Haiti last week killing about 1 000 people and leaving 175,000 homeless and more than 1.4 million in need of humanitarian aid.
Cholera ravaged Haiti a few months after the country’s 2010 earthquake. It killed at least 7,000 Haitians and sickened a few hundred thousand more while spreading to neighbouring countries including the Dominican Republic and Cuba.
In August 2016, after a report from the United Nations Special Rapporteur Philip Alston, the Secretary General of the United Nations accepted responsibility for the UN’s role in the initial outbreak.
The outbreak was caused by a new strain of the Vibrio cholerae bacterium, El Tor. Epidemics involving this strain started in 1961 in Indonesia, and spread rapidly elsewhere in eastern Asia and then to India and Bangladesh, the USSR, Iran and Iraq. This was the first outbreak in Haiti ever recorded of El Tor.
A coordinator for the American chapter of the World Health Organization said the UN base in Les Cayes where Ban arrived at, had to be shut down after looting of two World Food Programme food containers outside the base on Saturday.
The coordinator requested anonymity because she was not authorized to speak to the media.