Posted on

Guterres: UN working to provide relief in Haiti


Kendy

Guterres: UN working to provide relief in Haiti
United Nations Secretary General, António Guterres. (GP)

Social Share

Washington – The United Nations (UN) says it is working to support rescue and relief efforts in Haiti, following a powerful earthquake that reportedly left hundreds dead, with perhaps even more injured and missing, and caused massive damage in the south-western part of the country.

UN chief António Guterres said that he is closely following the latest unfolding tragedy in Haiti, while UNICEF reported that its teams already on the ground are making assessments to prioritse urgent needs and provide assistance to affected populations in the wake of the 7.2 magnitude quake that has reportedly killed more than 700 people.

“My heart goes out to all affected by the earthquake. My deepest condolences to all who have lost family and friends,” the Secretary-General said on Twitter.

In a statement, the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) said the quake was felt in the Haitian capital, Port-au-Prince, but the epicentre was detected in the southern parts of the country.

Serious damage, injuries and casualties are reported in the Grande Anse, Sud and Sud-Est department, said UNICEF.

According to news reports, the latest earthquake, similar in magnitude to the 2010 quake that devastated the country and left hundreds of thousands of people dead and displaced, has toppled churches and schools, and severely curtailed electricity in the affected areas.

“We are deeply saddened by the reports of casualties and heavy damage following the earthquake earlier today in Haiti,” said Bruno Maes, UNICEF representative in the country, who added that the agency stands in solidarity with families and children in the wake of the disaster.

He noted that UNICEF is working with Government and non-government partners to provide support to affected communities, with the agency warning that children and families may have been displaced as a result of the earthquake and could be in urgent need of shelter, clean water, medical care and protection.

Saying on Twitter that she was deeply saddened by the unfolding tragedy, UNICEF chief Henrietta Fore reiterated that: “Today and in the coming days, UNICEF will be working closely with our partners to reach affected children and families.”

The earthquake struck as Tropical Storm Gloria bares down on the Caribbean region and with Haiti itself facing a recent spike in COVID-19 cases and still coping with the assassination last month of President Jovenel Moise.

“Our thoughts are with the people of Haiti following the devastating earthquake, said UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed in a Twitter post where she also said that the organisation “is committed to delivering in solidarity with you”.

(CMC)