Tags: UN | Haiti | quake | blamed

U.N. Slammed in Haiti Quake Coordination

Wednesday, 03 Mar 2010 09:14 AM

UNITED NATIONS — Humanitarian efforts by the United Nations in Haiti have lacked sufficient coordination with local organizations in delivering aid and establishing security, according to an independent assessment released on Tuesday.

One consequence was a surge in the sexual abuse of women and girls living in camps for the displaced, with some young girls trading sex for shelter, said Emilie Parry, an aid consultant who helped write the evaluation of the United Nations’ effort for Refugees International, a nonprofit organization that advocates on behalf of refugees.

“Women reported to us that there has been a lot of violence and sexual abuse at nighttime,” Ms. Parry said, noting that there is no system of nighttime patrols in the makeshift camps where many displaced people have been living.

“By all accounts, the leadership of the humanitarian country team is ineffectual,” said the report, based on 10 days of evaluations in February. The report, titled “Haiti: From the Ground Up,” also acknowledged that the scale of the disaster made the response a singular challenge.

Closer work with Haitian organizations, as well as better knowledge about conditions, would also enhance the ability of local groups to deal with problems long after the international groups left, Ms. Parry said.

The report suggests a number of ways to improve the delivery of aid, including allowing more participation by Haitian organizations whose leaders are now living among as many as several million displaced earthquake victims.

While the United Nations does not actively discriminate against such groups, it effectively bars them through a lack of advertising and the system of passes that are needed to attend meetings, Ms. Parry said. Appointing liaison officers dedicated to such groups would help, the report suggests.

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UNITED NATIONS — Humanitarian efforts by the United Nations in Haiti have lacked sufficient coordination with local organizations in delivering aid and establishing security, according to an independent assessment released on Tuesday.
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2010-14-03
Wednesday, 03 Mar 2010 09:14 AM
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