Ibero-American News Digest
Action To Help Haiti Called for by U.S. Congresswoman
Oct. 30 (EIRNS)As President Obama continues letting Haitians die without aid, Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) yesterday called upon "the U.S. government to take immediate action to contain this outbreak" of cholera in Haiti, an outbreak which, she noted, probably would not have occurred, had the United States assisted Haiti after the January earthquake in implementing "a comprehensive plan ... to acquire thousands of durable shelter units and set them up safely, sustainably, and immediately," as she had demanded on March 11, 2010.
In a statement yesterday, Waters noted that "Haiti is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, and its infrastructure was depleted by the earthquake. Haiti does not have the capacity to respond to a health crisis of this magnitude on its own, so humanitarian assistance from the U.S. and other international actors is desperately needed....
"More than four thousand people have already been infected with cholera, and there is a frightening potential for this disease to spread in Port-au-Prince, where more than a million people are living in tent camps for the displaced and thousands of others live in impoverished communities without access to clean water and basic sanitation.
"Humanitarian assistance is essential for Haiti, but it is not enough. The United States and other international donors need to keep their promises to help Haiti develop its infrastructure. If the Artibonite region of Haiti had basic sanitation and clean water distribution systems, this cholera outbreak probably would never have happened," she said.
Hurricane Tomas Threatens New Catastrophe in Haiti
Oct. 31 (EIRNS)A new hurricane threatens to worsen the humanitarian catastrophe caused by the Obama Administration's refusal to act effectively after the Haitian earthquake of January 2010.
The government of Haiti issued a level "orange" warning at 10 a.m. Oct. 30, for extreme weather within the following 48-72 hours, as the outer reaches of Hurricane Tomas are projected to hit the southern portion of Haiti and the Dominican Republic.
The UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs reported their preparations, as the mobilization of tarps and tents, blankets and plastic sheeting, to protect 1.3-5 million people living in 1,300-1,500 temporary camps from hurricane winds and rain!
They say they have sufficient food to feed 1.1 million Haitians for six weeks, but water purification supplies, particularly for treating water that contains sediment, are already urgently needed. (Ordinary purification tablets are not sufficient to treat water with high turbidity levels, which is the case in many places.)
The Pan American Health Organization on Oct. 29 reported that over one-third of communities in the 15 communal sections at the epicenter of the cholera outbreak have not yet received water purification tablets. Lack of roads into some of the affected areas make it difficult to get water in; UN helicopters did some deliveries. IV fluids are in short supply, and hospitals in the Centre Department (i.e., outside of Artibonite) are reportedly overwhelmed by cases.
This crisis is totally man-made at this point, because all of the well-established proposals for rebuilding Haiti, after the January earthquake, including relocating large portions of the population to the highland plains, building new towns with modern infrastructure, etc., have been outright rejected by the Obama White House.