Urgent Need for Tent Cities for Haitian Refugees

The people of Haiti are still suffering terribly from the earthquake almost two weeks ago. Please continue to pray for them and, if possible, help them by donating to aid them trough reputable organization.

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti — Grieving families are watching workers recover the bodies of loved ones as Haiti’s death roll rises, while aid groups focusing on the living struggle to find tents and sites to erect them for all the people streaming out of Port-au-Prince.

It could take experts weeks to search out sites suitable for enough tent cities to hold earthquake refugees, the International Organization for Migration, an intergovernmental agency, said Sunday.

“We also need tents. There is a shortage of tents,” said Vincent Houver, the Geneva-based agency’s chief of mission in Haiti.

Houver said the agency’s warehouse in Port-au-Prince holds 10,000 family-size tents, but he estimates 100,000 are needed. The organization has appealed for $30 million to pay for tents and other aid needs and has received two-thirds of that so far, he said.

Haiti’s government wants the estimated 600,000 homeless huddled in open areas of Port-au-Prince, a city of 2 million, to look for better shelter with relatives or others elsewhere. Some 200,000 are believed to have fled already, most taking advantage of free government transport, and others formed a steady stream out of the city Sunday.

An estimated 50,000 to 100,000 have returned to the region around the coastal city of Gonaives in northern Haiti, a city abandoned by many after two devastating floods in six years.

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