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.”
Friday, January 29, 2010 – Globe and Mail
ANNA MEHLER PAPERNY
PORT-AU-PRINCE — Aid agencies are rolling out an ambitious vaccine program in and around Port-au-Prince in an effort to stem what health experts fear is an impending public-health crisis.
Little by little, the biggest health challenge facing the millions of people displaced by the earthquake is becoming less about treatment for their injuries or even obtaining food and water.
Hundreds of thousands of people are living in an estimated 591 settlements in the Port-au-Prince area. As aid agencies struggle to find a better solution to the strung-together sheets under which people are taking shelter, tent-city denizens are taking matters into their own hands, building more permanent shelters out of scraps of wood and corrugated iron salvaged from the ruins.
Thursday, January 28, 2010 – Globe and Mail
PAUL WALDIE AND ANNA MEHLER PAPERNY
PORT-AU-PRINCE — When the earthquake hit Haiti on Jan. 12, thousands of people who had lost their homes rushed to Port-au-Prince’s only golf course, the Pétionville Club.
Today, roughly 50,000 people live on the nine-hole course in a collection of shelters made from blankets, sticks, plastic tarps and tents.
The camp could have ended up like many others across the city – dirty, disorganized and lacking food and water. Instead, thanks to the work of the U.S. Army and some determined aid agencies such as Oxfam and Catholic Relief Services, the camp functions as something close to a community.