Haiti Aid Piles Up at Bottlenecks as Unrest Grows

Medicine, bandages, food stuck at port, airport, warehouses
By Jane Yager,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 3, 2010 4:38 AM CST
Haiti Aid Piles Up at Bottlenecks as Unrest Grows
A man and a baby sit outside a makeshift tent at the camp inside the National Stadium of Port-au-Prince, Feb. 2, 2010. Haitians are growing tired of waiting for their own government to help them.   (AP Photo/Andres Leighton)

(Newser) – Massive amounts of aid are arriving in Haiti only to hit bottlenecks at the Port-au-Prince airport, the port or warehouses, where medicine, bandages, and other desperately needed supplies are piling up. Clogged roads, a crippled government, and outbreaks of violence mean that the aid flowing into Haiti is reaching earthquake victims too slowly to outpace growing unrest in the disaster-stricken nation, the AP reports.

Aid convoys require armed escorts—and some three hours just to drive across Port-au-Prince, a journey that is only possible during daylight, since people sleep in the streets at night. "We have to wait for things even though they're stacked up in the warehouse," a doctor said. "The situation is just madness." Part of the problem, a World Food Program official notes, is such massive need "in a densely populated urban context, which is not a traditional operating area for a humanitarian mission." (Read more Haiti stories.)

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