Four months after an earthquake devastated Haiti’s capital city of Port-au-Prince, conditions there have shown little improvement.
Red Cross officials in the country say Haiti is still struggling to provide basic needs, such as housing, sanitation and health care, prolonging the emergency situation that has killed 300,000 and left tens of thousands more homeless, the Associated Press reported. The Red Cross has already contributed $800 million to Haiti. and the organization expects to provide emergency relief for at least a year. More than $1 billion overall has been donated for crisis aid.
But the Red Cross has also come to the point where it is essentially running services that are provided by government agencies in most countries, for example the sewage system operating in Port-au-Prince.
“We had to take some initiative on sanitation,” said Michaele Amedee Gedeon, the president of the Haitian Red Cross Society said in an AP interview in Geneva. She said the organization expects to hand over the day-to-day running of the services to the government in order to avoid dependence on aid. But many government agencies have been so adversely affected by the temblor that they have not been able to administer their services effectively, hence the extention of the emergency period — one that only lasts three months in most countries.
“”It is the first time we prolonged it because there are so many destitute in Haiti now that we have to take care of their very basic needs,” Gedeon said.