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Jan-25-2010 00:15printcommentsVideo

UN Food Distribution Now Reaching Two Million Earthquake Refugees

There have been reports of looting and violence here since the earthquake struck, but today, there were no reports of disturbances as the food delivery began and people were anxiously waiting to receive aid.

UN Force Commander Major General Floriano Peixoto
UN Force Commander Major General Floriano Peixoto
Special thanks to the UN and MINUSTAH

(CITE SOLEIL/SALEM) - United Nations peacekeepers from Brazil along with the United States Army distributed food today in Cite Soleil, one of the poorest and most troubled neighborhoods in Port-au-Prince.

The partnership between American and UN forces strengthens the ability to secure an area while contributing to humanitarian aid on the ground.

Locals formed queues to receive food packs, water and crackers. Bags of rice, beans, corn flour and plaster were also being distributed.

UN Force Commander Major General Floriano Peixoto was optimistic that the arrival of new troops would enhance the capacity to distribute aid.

"We believe that the troops that arrive will enhance our capacity of distributing food; enhance our capacity to provide logistics and support, along with our partners the Americans and the Canadians, and other contributors that are arriving."

There have been reports about delays in aid distribution by the media as well as survivors complaining that it has been nearly two weeks since the earthquake struck and they still had not received any food or water.

General P.K. Keen who was in Haiti when the earthquake struck said aid distribution was improving daily.

"The need is tremendous. We have obviously as you know millions of people in need. We are pushing it out every day. Today is a better day than yesterday. Tomorrow is a better day than the day before."

For many people in Cite Soleil, this is the first help they've gotten. Cite Soleil was a former armed gang stronghold until the UN liberated it in 2008.

There have been reports of looting and violence here since the earthquake struck, but today, there were no reports of disturbances as the food delivery began and people were anxiously waiting to receive aid.

Denise Floret, a Cite Soleil Resident, said. "This is the first time we got food. I didn't hear of other distributions."

The food delivered today comes from the World Food Program. The UN agency is now delivering daily meals to some 2 million Haitians as it continued to ramp up operations in the cities and towns hardest hit by the recent catastrophic earthquake in the Caribbean country.

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Tim King is a former U.S. Marine with twenty years of experience on the west coast as a television news producer, photojournalist, reporter and assignment editor. In addition to his role as a war correspondent, this Los Angeles native serves as Salem-News.com's Executive News Editor. Tim spent the winter of 2006/07 covering the war in Afghanistan, and he was in Iraq over the summer of 2008, reporting from the war while embedded with both the U.S. Army and the Marines. Tim holds numerous awards for reporting, photography, writing and editing, including the Oregon AP Award for Spot News Photographer of the Year (2004), first place Electronic Media Award in Spot News, Las Vegas, (1998), Oregon AP Cooperation Award (1991); and several others including the 2005 Red Cross Good Neighborhood Award for reporting. Serving the community in very real terms, Salem-News.com is the nation's only truly independent high traffic news Website. You can send Tim an email at this address:
newsroom@salem-news.com




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Hank Ruark January 25, 2010 10:41 am (Pacific time)

For some needs --be they in disaster or intermittently in complex other-realities of these extremely endangered times-- international organization remains the only possible resource when all others fail. How ironic is it today that this proof of current reality is again recurring, bringing into cooperative play the full resources of our American nation AND the United Nations --when all too recently a benighted U.S."administration" became noted for its ongoing opposition and undermining of this now/well-proven world necessity ? For the 21st Century, still further essential unique roles are sure to develop, with this time our full, open, honest --and very democratic--support surely earned over this past 20th Century.

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