Monday, February 1, 2010 – Globe and Mail
ANNA MEHLER PAPERNY
PORT-AU-PRINCE — Marnity Buisson stands, arms akimbo, on pebbled dirt between stacks of bedsheets and a ravine that’s become an open sewer and fly-infested garbage pit.
This is her turf. The house she grew up in is reduced to bits of stone and concrete; her neighbourhood is in smithereens.
In an attempt to take control of the area where she has spent all her life, the 22-year-old joined a seven-member committee struck to oversee the welfare of 75 families living under tarps and sleeping on the ground in this Martissant alley.
In tent cities, refugee camps, mattress-filled streets and courtyards-turned-living rooms across Port-au-Prince, survivors are forming their own organizing committees to provide advocacy, security and co-ordination. Some of them have issued sporadic press releases, following their federal government’s lead in holding news conferences.
Anna Mehler Paperny
Globe and Mail Update
Saturday, January 30, 2010
New distribution program prioritizes women with families in effort to stop chaotic stampedes over food convoys
Port-au-Prince — The United Nations is revamping its aid mission in Haiti after two weeks of chaotic stampedes to reach disorganized food convoys.
The new system, which starts this weekend, will set up 16 fixed aid sites across Port-au-Prince, each of which aims to give rice to 10,000 people a day – about 1.1 million people a week in a metropolitan area of about 4 million.
“[At first] we had to do everything we could, to put as much food out to as many people as possible, as quickly as possible,“ said World Food Program spokesman Marcus Prior.
“But instead of using mobile, quick-and-dirty methods, we need a more organized response.”
It’s aid agencies’ attempt to come to terms with what Mr. Prior described as “the most complex situation we’ve ever faced” – a staggering need in a dense urban area whose infrastructure has been wiped out entirely. Humanitarian workers are used to providing aid to less dense, more rural spaces. In the crush of a devastated, tightly packed city, the logistics are entirely different.
“As part of the operation, we need to have more stable and robust distribution methods in place.”
Thursday, January 14, 2010 – Globe and Mail
ANNA MEHLER PAPERNY
With reports from Tu Thanh Ha and The Associated Press
As the world scrambled to respond to the massive earthquake in Haiti, the scene in its densely populated capital was one of chaos and devastation that completely overwhelmed the country’s threadbare emergency resources. Gunshots rang out as night fell and widespread looting was reported.
It remained impossible yesterday to ascertain the number of people killed by the 7.0-magnitude quake, but Haitian President René Préval said casualties could extend beyond 100,000, including three Canadians.
Father Maurice Piquard of the Montfortaint congregation in Port-au-Prince spent Tuesday night outside and woke to a scene of destruction.
“No neighbourhood is spared … the entire city is destroyed,” he said, adding that many of his students were crushed beneath buildings and he’s still trying to find missing colleagues.
Wednesday, January 13, 2010 – Globe and Mail
ANNA MEHLER PAPERNY AND JOHN IBBITSON
With reports from the Associated Press
One of the most powerful earthquakes to ever hit the region slammed impoverished Haiti, leaving the nation in chaos and the global community scrambling to assess the damage and bring aid.
The 7.0 earthquake hit several kilometres southwest of the densely populated capital Port-au-Prince in the late afternoon, but multiple aftershocks continued into the late evening, creating confusion on the ground and internationally.
It was impossible to assess the extensive damage, although reports came in that among the many buildings that came crashing to the ground, a hospital in nearby Pétionville was crushed and both the presidential palace and the headquarters of the United Nations’ peace-building mission were extensively damaged.