PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti — The United Nations (UN) top representative on Human Rights for Internally Displaced Persons, Walter Kaelin, has expressed concern about high levels of rape and other violence against women and children in the camps in Haiti.
He said that 1.3 million people are in the camps, nine months after a massive earthquake devastated the country and the reconstruction process needs to be accelerated.
He added that there is an urgent need for health care, water, sanitation and education not just in camps for the displaced, but also for other Haitians who remain in their homes.
Kaelin is calling on the Haitian government to come up with a development plan and to enforce the rule of law in the camps.
The UN representative also called on international donors to provide funding to allow Haitian neighbourhoods to rebuild.
Kaelin made the comments following a recent trip to Haiti. His findings are similar to those expressed in a recent report from the advocacy group, Refugees International.
A 7.0-magnitude earthquake that hit near Haiti’s capital, Port-au-Prince, on January 12, killed more than 200,000 people and left more than a million others homeless.
International donors have pledged nearly US$10 billion for the Western Hemisphere’s poorest country but UN officials said many countries have not followed through with those pledges.