FILE: New York – date unknown
1. Wide exterior United Nations headquarters
New York – 15 October 2008
2. Wide of news conference
3. SOUNDBITE: (English) Joel Boutroue, UN Humanitarian and Resident Coordinator in Haiti:
“The situation has at least temporarily stabilised. I’m saying temporarily because you know we’re still only half way through the hurricane season and if there were, you know, other hurricanes to hit Haiti, I’m not sure how they’d be able to respond, however at this stage indeed we’re able to distribute food, water, non-food items on a fairly regular basis.”
4. Mid of reporter
5. SOUNDBITE: (English) Joel Boutroue, UN Humanitarian and Resident Coordinator in Haiti: (includes cutaway of photographer):
“This being said of course, we cannot forget that Haiti was already almost put on its knees due to the food and fuel crisis that hit Haiti late last year and is continuing to this day, and the hurricane combined with this crisis have probably put Haiti back to where it was three or four years ago, in terms of economic growth and poverty.”
6. Mid news conference
7. SOUNDBITE: (English) Joel Boutroue, UN Humanitarian and Resident Coordinator in Haiti:
“Crime is extremely low, is the lowest probably in the region, frankly in Haiti, despite what we say. I saw recent statistics on that, so indeed we’re in a certain secure environment, a certain level of stability. We need to build on that and indeed what we need to do, and the government agrees, that we need to deliver tangible, if you want, results in the short term. We need to take care of the long term, we need to continue that, but we need to do more for the shorter, medium term. If we don’t deliver tangible results for the population now, I frankly don’t know how they’re going to survive as a whole.”
FILE: New York – date unknown
8. Flags outside UN headquarters
The chief humanitarian coordinator for Haiti said on Wednesday that unless the United Nations can deliver “tangible results” for the impoverished Carribean nation’s people, he doesn’t know how “they’re going to survive”.
A day after the UN Security Council voted unanimously to renew its peacekeeping mission in Haiti for another year, Joel Boutroue, the UN Humanitarian and Resident Coordinator in Haiti, gave a briefing on the situation there, claiming it had only been “temporarily stabilised”.
A series of four storms left at least 793 dead and thousands homeless in Haiti.
Bridges have fallen and roads are flooded, making it impossible for many to reach their fields or markets, and food prices continue to rise after 60 percent of the harvest was wiped out.
Boutroue said the humanitarian effort had been successful in distributing water and food to the Haiti people on a “fairly regular basis”, but warned that if more hurricanes were to hit he feared the UN backed effort would struggle to respond.
The renewed peacekeeping mission, also known as MINUSTAH, was sent to Haiti following the bloody ouster of former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide in 2004.
It has provided the only real security in Haiti ever since, fighting gangs, cracking down on kidnappers and helping develop local police.
The peacekeeping mission’s mandate was extended on Tuesday until 2009, and keeps the number of troops at 7,060 and police at 2,091.
While the UN will fund the peacekeeping force at a cost of 575 (m) million US dollars this year, it has had a harder time finding development money for the country, with just 16 percent of its 108 (m) million US dollar appeal funded.
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