Archive for July 11th, 2010
It is sometimes difficult to remember that it has been six months since 12 January.
Many Haitians, when they speak of the earthquake, refer only to “before”. Before they lost, in 35 seconds, so much – friends, family, homes, schools, churches and their visions of the future.
What happened here on 12 January was a disaster of a magnitude that would have set any country reeling.
More than 222,570 people have died, 300,572 were injured and at one point a staggering 2.3 million – nearly one quarter of the population – were displaced.
The government lost thousands of civil servants and most of its key infrastructure was destroyed.
In all, 101 United Nations colleagues perished and many more suffered terrible personal losses, as did many of our colleagues in other humanitarian organisations.
Nevertheless, in desperately difficult circumstances, one of the largest humanitarian operations of its kind was mounted.
That response delivered basic shelter to survivors, fed 4.3 million people, installed latrines and vaccinated more than 900,000 people against communicable disease.
Today, humanitarian needs are still acute.
More than 1,300 camps remain, housing 1.5 million people. The response here delivers water to 1.2 million people daily, maintains 11,000 latrines and ensures that basic medical healthcare is free for all survivors.
Mass starvation was averted and perhaps most significantly there has been no outbreak of disease in the camps.
The operation just to take care of humanitarian needs on a daily basis is enormous. But while we do this, there are other challenges too.
The hurricane season is beginning and we must move quickly to protect people as best we can. This work is under way, but time is short. And we must, of course, work to ensure a better long-term future, not just for survivors in the most affected areas but throughout the country.
The tragedy of Haiti is that poverty levels here were so deep before the January 2010 quake that even the basic support offered to those living in camps is more than many had before.
But we must also not forget that before this tragedy Haiti was making real progress with a stable, democratically elected government, falling crime levels and upward trends in nutrition levels.
The real disaster for Haiti would be to allow this natural disaster to undo the progress of past years.
Ordinary Haitians have been clear about their priorities – an income to get their lives back together, education for their children so they have a stake in their country's future, and housing where their families are safe.
We as a humanitarian community must help all 1.5 million survivors in the camps find ways to leave, while making sure that those who have no choice but to stay for some time also receive assistance.
We must get people working as fast as possible. Again and again people in the camps tell us that if they can work they can take charge of their own recovery.
Haitians must see tangible evidence of progress.
We must keep putting up transitional shelter as fast as we can and scale up rubble removal from the streets. The rubble was put in the streets by Haitians clearing their destroyed homes and businesses, but it now blocks access and rebuilding efforts.
We must continue to prevent disease.
We must help the government become better able to lead the extremely complex task of reconstruction and ensure all Haitians have a chance to shape their future. Continued weak governance is not an option.
If Haiti is to experience this national transformation, it will require strong political leadership and an international community aligned with national priorities. It also needs sustained funding from donors backed up by measurable progress and regular information outreach – Haitians need to know what is happening and what to expect.
Many people around the world gave generously to Haiti and we thank them profusely – none of what we do would be possible without their support, and we take the custodianship of that funding and the responsibility that it brings extremely seriously.
We must lay the foundations now for transformation of Haiti on a huge scale – of the rural economy, of more equitable country-wide development and social service delivery, of government capacity at national and local levels.
This work has already begun but will be extremely complex and will take a long time – we are talking of at least a generation.
We have seen extraordinary strength as ordinary Haitians cope with appalling suffering – with dignity, calm and a truly humbling willingness to help each other regardless of how little they have.
We must recommit ourselves now to our role in supporting them as they and their government struggle to build a brighter future together.
We have to stay the course with Haiti.
Barack Obama described the Srebrenica massacre as “a stain on our collective conscience” as hundreds of victims of the 1995 atrocity were buried.
In a statement read for him in the Bosnian town, the US president admitted the failure of the international community to protect the enclave, and said those responsible must be pursued.
More than 7,000 Muslim men and boys were killed by Bosnian Serb troops.
The massacre was the worst atrocity in Europe since the Second World War.
Hundreds of victims of the massacre were buried at a ceremony outside the town on Sunday. The 775 coffins with the remains of newly identified victims from mass graves were laid to rest at the Potocari cemetery near Srebrenica.
European leaders and the presidents of all former Yugoslav republics who had gathered for the ceremony heard Mr Obama's words that “there can be no lasting peace without justice”.
Mr Obama urged “the prosecution and arrest of those that carried out the genocide”, and added: “This includes Ratko Mladic who presided over the killings and remains at large.”
Serbian President Boris Tadic attended the ceremony, in what was seen as a significant gesture.
For years Belgrade denied the scale of the slaughter, but in March Serbia's parliament passed a landmark resolution apologising for the massacre.
It said Belgrade should have done more to prevent the tragedy.
Mr Tadic repeated his government's vow to track down the fugitive general.
Speaking on Sunday, he said: “As the president of Serbia I will not give up the search for remaining culprits, and by this I first of all mean for Ratko Mladic.”
The former Bosnian Serb general has been in hiding for almost 15 years and is believed to be in Serbia.
He has been indicted by the International Criminal Tribunal for former Yugoslavia (ICTY) for genocide and crimes against humanity for his role in the grimmest episode in the break-up of Yugoslavia in the 1990s.
Srebrenica had been declared a UN safe zone, to which thousands of Bosnian Muslims (Bosniaks) had fled during the 1992-95 Bosnian war.
But the Bosnian Serb army easily overran the lightly-armed Dutch force there in July 1995.
The massacre is the only episode of the conflict to have been deemed a genocide by the UN tribunal.
Thousands of people attended the ceremony at the Potocari cemetery – the biggest Srebrenica funeral so far.
New rows have been made for the burial of 775 victims, who will join nearly 4,000 already there.
Mourners mingled among the coffins, looking for the names of loved ones.
Bosnian Security Minister Sadik Ahmetovic told the crowd the international community should help bring fugitive Bosnian Serb wartime military commander Radko Mladic – “the man who brought us our suffering” – to justice.
Speaking at the commemoration, Bosnian Grand Mufti Mustafa Ceric called on European politicians to bring about the Bosnian Muslims' desire to have a “state in Europe that will protect us from the next genocide”.
“Civilisation does not begin with the burial of a Bosniak. Civilisation begins with a birth of a Bosniak [not] afraid of the next genocide.”
Hasan and Suhra Mahic, both in their 80s, were finally burying their sons Fuad and Suad.
“I would have preferred that all of us have been killed together, then we would not have had to live through this,” Hasan told the AFP news agency.
Ramiza Gurdic was burying her son Mehrudin, alongside her husband and another son already in the cemetery.
“How can you forget, how can you forgive? I think about them every day. I go to bed with the pain and I wake up with the sadness.”
But many Serbs in the region reject the established narrative of July 1995, the BBC's Mark Lowen in Srebrenica reports.
“The Serb people are portrayed in the media as committing genocide, but it isn't so,” Mladen Grujicic, who works for a local association helping the families of Serb victims of the war, told the BBC.
“No Serbs contest that a crime happened in Srebrenica, but they're insulted when the numbers are manipulated,” Mr Grujicic says, adding that Serb victims of the war have been forgotten.
Despite attempts to lay the past to rest, Srebrenica remains segregated 15 years after the tragic events, our correspondent says.
UK Prime Minister David Cameron said the atrocity was “a crime that shamed Europe”. Are you commemorating the anniversary of the Srebrenica massacre? Send your comments to the BBC using the form below:
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Twelve bodyguards of Farc rebel leader Guillermo Saenz have died in an army attack, Colombian special forces say.
Commandos launched a surprise raid on a base of the rebels' supreme commander in central Colombia's Tolima mountains at an altitude of 2,500m (8,200ft).
The Colombian army said at least a dozen bodyguards were killed and it was a severe blow to the leftist rebels.
Local media said the army was gradually closing in on the chief of Farc, which has been fighting since the 1960s.
Colombian President Alvaro Uribe congratulated the special forces team for the operation, which is said to have taken place in the early hours of Sunday.
Mr Uribe said: “I can confirm that one of the guerrillas killed in the operation was a woman named Magaly. She was responsible for the deaths of at least 70 soldiers and police officers.”
He was referring to Magaly Grannobles – a friend of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (Farc) leader – who also commanded a rebel unit.
The commander of Colombia's armed forces, Gen Freddy Padilla de Leon, described her as “an extremely dangerous criminal and a trusted confidante of the Farc leader”.
Gen Padilla said the killing of the Farc bodyguards was as “a decisive move against the security apparatus that guards the leadership of the Farc”.
However, fierce fighting on Sunday between the army and the Farc in north-eastern Colombia claimed the lives of at least six soldiers.
The 2010 World Cup has not been just about football for Brazil.Since the start of the tournament, delegations from the South American country’s federal and local governments, plus several other different institutions, have been in South Africa trying to learn lessons about staging the world’s biggest sporting event. That’s because, in four years, it will be Brazil’s turn to play host. Just as there were doubts about South Africa’s capabilities before the World Cup kicked off on 11 June, there are genuine concerns that Brazil will not be up to the task in 2014. It has unsafe roads, congested airports, overpopulated cities, old and outdated stadiums, high crime rates and a questionable record in government transparency. Ricardo Teixeira, Brazil 2014 organising committeeBut if there is one lesson Brazilians have learned from South Africa, it is that all of these problems can be managed or overcome. Not since Mexico 1986 has a developing country hosted an event of such magnitude but South Africa seems to have passed the test in 2010. Its airports are now world class, most of the stadiums are comparable to the best in Europe, there were enough hotels for everyone and there were few accidents caused by poor roads. Above all, security, such a hot topic of debate, has not been an issue, apart from a few minor incidents. If there was one question mark over the 2010 World Cup, it was its ability to deal with huge amounts of traffic. On match days, public transport did not cope with demand. So how is Brazil, who staged the tournament back in 1950 and will also host the Olympics in 2016, shaping up in comparison? Well, much work needs still to be done for 2014 and some of it is behind schedule. Carlos Alberto Parreira, who guided Brazil to World Cup success in the United States 1994 and is now the coach of South Africa, says the time for dallying is over. “Some deadlines are approaching and Brazilians need to be fast in their decisions,” said the Rio de Janeiro-born 67-year-old, who has lived in South Africa since 2007. “Bureaucracy has to be facilitated and it cannot be an obstacle.”The most pressing issue facing Brazil is the need to build and refurbish stadiums, not to mention airports, in the 12 hosting cities. Eight venues need renovating while four new ones must be built. At present, the 2014 organising committee is still analysing the financial plans of each project before giving the final go-ahead. Add to the fact that Fifa has not approved the financial guarantees for the refurbishing of iconic Morumbi Stadium in Sao Paulo and the problems begin to mount up. As it stands, Brazil’s largest and best prepared city does not have a stadium to host games. This is an example of how bureaucracy threatens to stall progress. Fifa and the organising committee are unsatisfied with the proposal put forward by Sao Paulo FC, owners of Morumbi Stadium, for refurbishing the ground. But neither the federal nor the Sao Paulo state governments are willing to put up any money for the work. The stand-off is due to be discussed later this month and there is no Plan B so far. Another great concern is air travel. As it stands, Brazil does not have enough flights to meet demand, even in normal periods. Back in 2006, Brazil faced a similar crisis to the one experienced by Europe this year, when the Icelandic volcano ash cloud had a major impact on air traffic.
Only in Brazil, there were no natural causes to blame – just a lack of infrastructure. To combat potential travel issues, the 2014 organising committee has begun drawing up plans to split Brazil into four major regions, concentrating teams from each group within those areas. This will prevent fans from having to journey long distances, such as from Manaus to Porto Alegre, and would also simplify air traffic control. “We are fully aware that we have three major challenges to host the World Cup in 2014: airports, airports and airports,” said Ricardo Teixeira, head of the Brazilian organising committee. Another challenge for Brazil is coping with the pressures of hosting the World Cup while actually trying to win it, something South Africa did not have to do. That is a big task, especially after Brazil’s disappointing display this time around, losing to the Netherlands in the quarter-finals. Can they achieve their twin aim? A lot depends on Teixeira, who, besides heading the 2014 organising committee, is also chief of the Brazilian Football Confederation and is thus the man responsible for finding a successor to Dunga, who quit as national team boss following Brazil’s 3-2 loss to the Dutch. Perhaps the final word should go to Parreira. “In 2007, there was a worldwide pressure and distrust in South Africa, with people saying it would not be able to host the 2010 World Cup,” he said. “But everything has been overcome because there was structure and planning.”
American Lance Armstrong said his hopes of winning an eighth Tour de France were “finished” as he lost more than 11 minutes on the eighth stage.Armstrong fell twice and after losing contact with the leaders he lost more time all the way to the finishing line on Sunday’s first mountain stage. Andy Schleck outsprinted Samuel Sanchez to win, while Britain’s Bradley Wiggins was one minute 45 seconds back. Cadel Evans is the new race leader, 20 seconds ahead of Schleck. Defending champion Alberto Contador of Spain stayed with the leaders up until the final kilometre, but he is only 1:01 behind Australian world champion Evans. Lance ArmstrongAnd the Team Shack rider was left fuming when he was unseated as a result of two Euskaltel Euskadi riders colliding in front of him. “My Tour has finished,” said 38-year-old Armstrong. “But I will stay in the race. “I will enjoy it, I’ll try and take some pleasure out of it, to support the team. I’m not complaining.” “I’ve had a bad day, a very bad day. At the start, it was going OK, I felt strong. “And then came the roundabout before the Col de la Ramaz. I clipped a pedal and then my tyre rolled off and the next thing I was rolling along the ground at 60 to 65 kph. “It’s already hard to come back, hard on the body.” Monday is a rest day before the peloton tackle the 205.4km ninth stage from Morzine-Avoriaz to Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne. It features the category-one climbs of Col de la Colombiere and Col des Saisies before the final climb of the day – the hors (toughest) category Col de la Madeleine. Stage eight results: 1. Andy Schleck (Lux/Saxo Bank) 4h 54m 11s
2. Samuel Sanchez (Esp/Euskatel) same time
3. Robert Gesink (Net/Rabobank) +10″
4. Roman Kreiziger (Cze/Liquigas) same time
5. Alberto Contador (Esp/Astana) same time
Overall Standings:1. Cadel Evans (Aus/BMC Racing) 37h 57m 09s
2. Andy Schleck (Lux/Saxo Bank) +20″
3. Alberto Contador (Esp/Astana) +1’01″
4. Jurgen van den Broeck (Bel/Omega Pharma-Lotto) +1’03″
5. Denis Menchov (Rus/Rabobank) +1’10″
6. Ryder Hesjedal (Can/Garmin-Transitions) +01’11″
7. Roman Kreuziger (Cze/Liquigas) +01’45″
8. Levi Leipheimer (USA/Radioshack) +02’14″
9. Samuel Sanchez (Esp/Euskatel) +02’15″
10. Michael Rogers (Aus/HTC-Columbia) +02’31″
Selected others:14 Bradley Wiggins (GB/SKY) at 2’45″
39 Lance Armstrong (US/TRS) at 13′ 26″
69 Geraint Thomas (GB/SKY) at 30′ 51″
83 Charlie Wegelius (GB/OPL) at 41′ 11″
117 David Millar (GB/GRM) at 50′ 10″
135 Stephen Cummings (GB/SKY) at 55′ 59″
149 Mark Cavendish (GB/HTC) at 1h 01′ 23″
159 Daniel Lloyd (GB/CTT) at 1h 06′ 53″
160 Jeremy Hunt (GB/CTT) at 1h 07′ 22″ For full results visit
Thousands of tourists and scientists have descended on Chile's Easter Island to catch sight of Sunday's total solar eclipse.
The eclipse will only be visible from a small section of land, ending over southern parts of Chile and Argentina.
The eclipse starts at 1815 GMT about 700km (440 miles) south-east of Tonga, reaching Easter Island by 2011 GMT.
The population of Easter Island is expected to double to 8,000 – but the eclipse could be hit by cloud cover.
Some forecasters have warned that cloudy skies could dash hopes of a clear view in the area of land deemed best placed to see the eclipse.
Easter Island should be treated to a four minute and 41 second eclipse.
A total solar eclipse occurs when the moon passes between the sun and the Earth, blocking its rays and casting a shadow.
The eclipse will follow an 11,000km path but mostly over the Pacific – the longest time of eclipse, five minutes and 20 seconds, will be over sea.
Easter Island's governor has insisted it can cope with the influx, but there is increased security at sacred sites, including for the famous 3,000-year-old Moai stone statues.
The island was partly evacuated after Chile's earthquake in February and the authorities want to show that it is back on the tourist map.
Local mayor Luz del Carmen Zasso told Agence France-Presse news agency: “Easter Island is an open-air museum, and the eclipse is part of this museum.”
Police in the Bahamas have captured a fugitive US teenager known as the Barefoot Bandit, reports say.
Colton Harris-Moore had been caught early on Sunday on the island of Eleuthera, a police source told the Associated Press.
The hunt turned to the Bahamas when he flew in an allegedly stolen plane from the US and crash-landed.
It was the latest in a series of suspected thefts of aircraft, boats and cars by Harris-Moore.
He has been dubbed the Barefoot Bandit as he is thought to have carried out many of his alleged offences with no shoes on.
The Cessna 400 light aircraft allegedly stolen from an airport in Bloomington, Indiana, came down off Abaco Island in the Bahamas.
AP said police picked up his trail on Eleuthera after recovering a power boat allegedly stolen from a marina on Abaco, some 40 miles (65 km away).
The teenager has been on the run from US police since 2008 and is accused of at least three journeys in stolen planes despite never having flying lessons.
Just days ago, the FBI announced a 10,000 reward for Harris-Moore's capture.
Frequent run-ins with the law culminated in a three-year sentence of detention, but after early release he absconded from a halfway house in April 2008, and allegedly began a spree of burglaries.
He is accused of repeatedly breaking into empty holiday homes, taking food, stealing electronic items and even using stolen credit cards to get deliveries of items essential for surviving in the woods.
Six months after a devastating earthquake hit Haiti, authorities are still struggling to cope with thousands of children orphaned or abandoned by their parents. Since the quake, about 500 orphanages and a small army of volunteers have worked to accommodate the children, and reunite some of them with relatives. There was a global outcry when a group of US missionaries was accused of trying to smuggle 33 Haitian children out of the country after the quake. The missionaries said the children were orphans – but it later emerged that at least some of the children had parents. That story pointed to a much bigger issue. A recent trip to investigate the plight of Haiti’s children revealed that many have fallen through the vast net of aid agencies. Despite millions of dollars being donated and aid being flown in to help ease the crisis, many children have ended up living rough on the streets. In harm’s wayMichael Brewer is a paediatric nurse who has been working with what he describes as Haiti’s “phantom” street children for 12 years. “The kids I work with are the most vulnerable of the vulnerable,” he said. “The children on the streets are six to 10 years old and they have no-one, no family. “They are totally responsible for their own survival in every way and they are completely out of the system. They are like phantoms.” These youngsters depend on the kindness of strangers and are vulnerable to traffickers who might take them across the border to the neighbouring Dominican Republic. Jean-Max Bellerive, Haitian Prime Minister Despite efforts to reunite displaced children with their parents, of the 2,000 who have been registered with Unicef since the earthquake hit, fewer than 300 have been reunited with a parent or relative. Until Haiti is ready to take on the care of its orphaned and abandoned children, some believe they should be allowed to go to families abroad. John Leininger, a volunteer at the Haiti Children’s Rescue Mission, looks for Christian families in the US willing to adopt. He defended the push by foreign aid organisations to move children out of the country to new lives abroad and said he believed Haiti was decades away from being strong enough to care for its own children. “Until that happens you cannot put children in harm’s way by putting them into situations where they have no healthcare, no food,” he said. “How can you do that when there are parents in the United States and other countries begging to take them home and care for them.” ‘No choice’Fast-track international adoptive policies agreed between governments had allowed more than 5,000 children who were already in the adoptive process to be taken overseas. But this arrangement has now stopped. Haiti Prime Minister Jean-Max Bellerive told the BBC that the government is not yet able to provide for all unprotected children. But he believes adoption should be done in a “proper way” by following the appropriate legal procedures. “Those children are the ones that are going to rebuild Haiti, to be responsible for the Haiti of tomorrow. I cannot just decide that everybody has to flee the country,” he said. But some families have become so desperately poor and unable to feed or care for their offspring that they are putting them up for adoption or, in some cases, giving them away to strangers. We met the father of four-month-old twin daughters who lost his wife in the quake and was driven by desperation to give his children to a stranger he met in a tent camp. He pretended the babies’ family had been killed in the earthquake because he thought they would receive more support as orphans. “I have no choice. I cannot take care of them,” he said of this decision. “At the moment I am not in a stable position because their mother is dead and I have six children to take care of.” One of the aid agencies traced his story and reunited him with his daughters, who will remain with the Haitian family that took them in after the disaster. Better lifeBut some parents are no so fortunate. Six-year-old Judson is one of 40 children waiting to be adopted at Haiti Children’s Rescue Mission after his mother gave him up voluntarily because she too could not afford to keep him. She said she wants her son to have a better quality of life with a family overseas. “I can’t send him to school. I was brought up by parents who couldn’t afford to look after me. They never sent me to school. I can’t even read or write. I don’t want my children to end up like this,” she said. Preacher Lelly Laurentus and his wife Manette also gave away their only children, six-year-old Leilla and four-year-old Soraya, in the hope they would find better lives abroad. Their girls were among the 33 children that American missionaries tried to take out of the country after the quake. They were stopped and the missionaries temporarily detained while authorities tried to figure out who the children were and where they were being taken. The incident caused a media storm amid accusations of child trafficking. The Laurentus’s daughters were eventually returned home. But their mother, Manette, defended her decision and the missionaries’ bid to leave Haiti with the girls. She said she was doing the best she could by her children. “I don’t regret it because if they had succeeded in what they were trying to do, it would have been a good thing for us. From a mother’s point of view, you owe these things to your child,” she said. Panorama: Orphans of Haiti, BBC One, Monday, 12 July at 2030BST.
The southern Californian city of Laguna Niguel has been enjoying an annual ritual, in which locals and visitors bare their bottoms at passing trains.
For 30 years, the city has hosted “Mooning Amtrak” as crowds line a road along the railway tracks, drop their trousers every time a train rolls by.
Up to 10,000 people take part, and visitors are encouraged to leave their cars at home and arrive by train.
Local legend has it the tradition began in 1979, after a bar room bet. A drinker at the Mugs Away Saloon, which stands directly across the road from the railway, offered to buy a drink for anyone who would run outside and moon at the next train.
One customer took him at his word, and a ritual was born.
Each year the event grows, with crowds swelled by word of mouth and enthusiastic reports from radio DJs on local radio stations.
There were reports in 2008 of surging crowds and drunkenness, and police and a helicopter were called in from neighbouring towns to maintain order.
Last year the city, which lies in Orange County between Los Angeles and San Diego, decided enough was enough.
“Avoid the area this year,” the city warned on its website home page. It added in a breezy Twitter feed that the city was “saying 'NO' to crack”.
Moon Amtrak enthusiasts were not impressed.
Mugs Away regular Rick Sanchez blamed a “stuffy, yuppie mayor” who had “never even been to a mooning”, the Wall Street Journal reported.
The event even has its own website, this year proudly headed “31st Annual Mooning of Amtrak”. It also promoted a newer offshoot: “5th Annual Mooning of Metrolink”.
It features directions to Camino Capistrano, the road where trousers and dignity are dropped each year, and helpfully lists trains times through the day, so that people can schedule their disrobing.
And after 8pm, there is night mooning. “Bring a flash light with plenty of batteries, or better yet, bring a camping lantern,” the website advises.
There is even a “Frequently Asked Questions” section for mooning debutantes. “Can I decorate my butt?” is one FAQ.
Yes, that's OK, apparently.
Rescuers looking for flood survivors in northern Mexico have found two girls clinging to the branches of a tree.
The children who are nine and 10 years old were forced to seek refuge there during flooding.
They told rescue workers they had spent almost four days there without food and water.
Police in the northeastern state of Tamaulipas said their parents had drowned.
A group of fishermen who had set up their camp on the banks of a river first spotted the two youngsters and alerted the authorities.
Lizbeth Dalin and her youngster sister, Lesli Dalimel Gaona Trevino, were taken to hospital where they are being treated for insect bites and de-hydration.
Doctors said the pair were still traumatised by their ordeal but were in a stable condition.
The girls told rescue officials they had last seen their parents on Monday.
Their father apparently attempted to drive the family car over a bridge across the Pilon River but veered off the road into the flooded river.
The vehicle with their parents and two siblings on board was washed away.
So far the authorities have recovered several bodies from the flooded river but have not accounted for one person.
“We still haven't found their 15-year-old sister. We'll shortly resume the search for her,” said Marisela Cantu, a police spokeswoman.
“We hope we'll also find her alive and well.”
Hurricane Alex has caused havoc in Tamaulipas state and the northern region close to the border with the United States.
Torrential rains and heavy floods have killed at least four people in the past two weeks including the latest reported deaths.
Thousands have been left homeless by the tropical storm as it swept across northern Mexico.
The human cost of the earthquake in Haiti has been huge; millions were left hungry, their homes, schools and hospitals destroyed and their livelihoods taken away.
The earthquake – the most powerful to hit Haiti for 200 years – caused maximum impact as it hit the area of the country.
A government assessment said the damage was all the more severe because it came after a period of relative stability, when people had begun to see their living conditions improve.
An emergency flash appeal launched by the international aid community within days of the earthquake quickly reached its 577m (380m) target – but that target had to be revised upwards a month later when the full extent of the humanitarian operation became clear.
The UN Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) issued a new target of 1.5bn . The key aim was to provide an “environment for safe and healthy living for all affected people until reconstruction restores normality.”
In April, the international community in immediate and long-term aid at a UN donor conference.
By July, 64% of the flash appeal had been met, according to OCHA, either in direct funding or in binding commitments to provide funding.
However, there are fears the humanitarian situation will worsen with the coming hurricane season. Emergency shelters made from tarpaulin are not substantial enough to withstand heavy weather and many temporary camps are also prone to severe flooding.
“With so many people still so vulnerable after the recent earthquake, a serious hurricane this year could be devastating,” said Sarah Muscroft, head of OCHA in Haiti.
Aid workers are distributing and building “transitional shelters” which have steel or timber frames and provide more protection than tarpaulins and tents, but they take a relatively long time to construct.
Efforts are also hampered by the estimated 20 million cubic metres of rubble created by the earthquake. The latest OCHA action plan aims to clear 10% of the rubble but it will take 90 days and cost 120m.
Consist primarily of tarpaulins and fixings such as rope and nails.
Tents can also be used for emergency shelter but are less versatile than tarpaulins.
Emergency shelters can be distributed quickly but offer only limited protection against heavy rains.
Simple timber or steel frame structures that provide better protection, privacy and space.
Often have a concrete foundation and can last for years.
Can be reused when people find permanent homes.
Take longer to build but can be dismantled and moved if necessary. Source: IASC
In March, the Haitian government published a Preliminary Damage and Needs Assessment (PDNA) which estimated the cost of rebuilding the country would be 11.5bn, spread across governance, environment, social sectors, infrastructure and production.
Social services were inadequate before the earthquake with many children not attending school and 38% of the population over the age of 15 were illiterate.
Reconstruction money will be spent on providing free primary education for all, improving access to health services and reducing malnutrition.
Money spent on infrastructure will include training in building techniques to reduce risks, restoring the road and telecommunications networks.
Before the earthquake, unemployment was running at 30%. Trade, tourism, transport and communication were all badly affected by the quake and so efforts will concentrate on economic growth to create new jobs, as well as improving working conditions.