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남아메리카의 최빈국 아이티를 돕는 구호의 손길

2009.06.15

* UNICEF & ECHO step up efforts to help Haitians
* 시간: 02 min 33 secs
* 촬영도시: Port au Prince
* 촬영국가: Haiti
* 촬영일자: 10 Feb 2009


As 2009's storm season begins, Haiti holds its breath.


Tropical Storm Hanna was one of several that battered Haiti last year. It devastated the city of Gonaives.


SOT Atela Dorcelie Mother:
"On Wednesday morning I went to look for my house and I didn't recognize where I was. The rains and flooding had destroyed everything."


To prepare for this year, UNICEF is working with the European Commission Humanitarian Aid department, or ECHO.


Pre-positioned supplies will ensure that if a storm hits, emergency response can begin as soon as possible.


SOT Steve Abbott  / UNICEF Water & Sanitation Specialist:
"Bad water is almost as bad as no water at all. Children once they get diarrheal diseases. Dehydration can kill a child in hours, literally in hours, not days."


Haiti is the poorest country in the western hemisphere and deforestation has magnified the damage that storms create.


And there's a new sense of urgency for ECHO and UNICEF because of the suffering that remains in the wake of 2008.


SOT Peter Zangl / ECHO Director General:
"We have decided to come back more substantially to Haiti with a project dealing with malnutrition, health, water, which we have identified as one of the main factors."


Soaring food prices and social unrest have added to those challenges, making a permanent ECHO presence a necessity.


SOT Damien Berrendorf / Representative / ECHO Haiti:
"When you put all these factors together the situation became chronically alarming on humanitarian aspects so that has justified reopening the office to be able to assess the needs and the situation and to respond accordingly and to offer to the ECHO partners and the population a greater and closer monitoring from the humanitarian office."


UNICEF and ECHO are intensifying their efforts to ensure that if storms strike this year that they do not place a more intolerable burden on a country that even in the best of times struggles to meet the basic needs of its citizens.

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