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UN makes appeal for tents for homeless Haitians

AFP

Friday, February 19, 2010    

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LA GRANJA, Spain (AFP) -- The United Nations made an urgent appeal yesterday for tents for Haiti to house tens of thousands of people left homeless by last month's earthquake.

"What worries us most right now is the topic of shelter, of providing a roof, now that the rainy season is about to start, and the topic of health," said Edmond Mulet, the acting head of the UN mission in Haiti.

"We need latrines, we need field tents, we need plastic sheets so that people can cover themselves," said Mulet, whose predecessor was killed in the January 12 quake.

"The rains are coming, I don't think we are going to be able to shelter all these people in time," he added at a meeting of EU development ministers in La Granja in central Spain.

EU member states and the European Commission must work together to "deliver to Haiti this shelter as soon as possible," he said.

The massive quake claimed more than 217,000 lives and left some 1.2 million people homeless on the Caribbean island of a little over nine million people.

The tropical rainy season is about to begin and the Caribbean hurricane season begins on June 1, with the drainage canals of Haiti's capital still blocked with trash and rubble from the earthquake.

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