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U.N. Not Fully Funded To Meet Needs In Haiti, Says Humanitarian Chief; Media Examines Care For Country’s Elderly

After announcing a revised appeal of $1.4 billion in February to finance emergency relief as well as recovery and reconstruction, the U.N. “is struggling to provide support for equake-ravaged Haiti,” according to humanitarian chief John Holmes, Reuters reports. “We did extremely well on raising funds for the initial flash appeal, but we are struggling, I’m afraid, to raise resources for the revised appeal. … We have got 49 percent of what we need for the whole year and we are appealing to donors to come forward with more resources for that relief operation,” Holmes said.

The U.N. plans to emphasize “the urgent need for more money at a donors conference on Haiti in New York later this month, which Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary [Rodham] Clinton will attend,” Reuters reports (Davies, 3/11).

In related news, IRIN and the New York Times examine efforts to care for Haiti’s aged:

“Elderly people need more attention in the response to January’s earthquake in Haiti and more appreciation of the role they can play in the relief effort, say aid workers. … Not all elderly people affected by the earthquake were in dire need, aid workers and camp residents pointed out. Many are active and simply need to be supported with healthcare, food and shelter so as not to slide into vulnerability,” IRIN writes (3/12).

“A preliminary census released last month by an aid organization found that roughly 7 percent, or about 84,000, of the estimated 1.2 million Haitians who had been displaced by the earthquake are over 60 years old. The United Nations also released a report last month stating that despite the privation facing younger women and children in Haiti since the earthquake, it is the elderly who are now by far the most at risk. Older people have been overlooked in relief efforts because they are more frail, less mobile and less vocal in their demands for food and water, United Nations officials explained,” the New York Times writes (Urbina, 3/11).

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