"Absolute devastation" witnessed by UN chief in Haiti

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The UN Secretary-General witnessed at first hand the devastation caused by Hurricane Matthew. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

"Absolute devastation;" that's how the UN chief, Ban Ki-moon described what he saw on Saturday as he visited the areas in Haiti most badly hit by a hurricane that struck the country ten days ago.

The UN Secretary-General flew over Les Cayes to carry out an aerial inspection of the destruction caused by Hurricane Matthew.

Daniel Dickinson has more.

The category 4 hurricane struck the Caribbean island on October 4th, killing some 400 people according to government estimates and left over 1.4 million in need of humanitarian aid.

On Saturday, the UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon visited Les Cayes on Haiti's southern coast.

It was one of the cities hardest hit by Hurricane Matthew.

Speaking after overflying Les Cayes he described the absolute devastation he saw.

He said, after meeting people who lost everything in the hurricane that he understood their pain and anger. 

The UN has launched an appeal for immediate funding totaling US$120 million to help Haiti cope with its worst humanitarian crisis since the 2010 earthquake.

So far, just around 12 per cent of that amount has been raised.

Mr Ban appealed to who he called the "friends of Haiti" to support the country.

He said it was a matter of life and death.

Daniel Dickinson, United Nations


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