UN seeks funding to help Haiti cope with effects of Hurricane Sandy

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Women carry their children during a humanitarian assessment mission to Haiti

The United Nations is appealing for $40 million to provide urgent humanitarian assistance in Haiti following the devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy.

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) says the hurricane had generated critical humanitarian needs and exacerbated existing ones.

Heavy rains and flooding caused extensive damage to agricultural lands in Haiti's rural areas, leaving an estimated 1.5 million people in urgent need of food assistance.

OCHA fears there could be a spike in cholera cases following the contamination of water sources and destruction of several cholera treatment centres.

Johan Peleman, head of OCHA’s office in Hait,i says 4,000 new cases of cholera have been reported in the past month.

"Most of the south of the country has been completely flooded. Of the utmost concern is the food security situation. In August we had already seen tropical storm Isaac which had destroyed most of the harvest in the north of the country; now, the south of the country, which is considered to be the food basket of Haiti, has been flooded entirely right at the start of the harvest season. The bulk of the appeal would be to carry the population that is now hit by food insecurity through the months between now and the first small harvest in March. With water and sanitation systems broken or needing drainage, we obviously fear a new breakout of water-borne diseases, including spikes in cholera." (Duration 51")

Donn Bobb, United Nations.

Duration: 1’34″

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