U.S. soldiers and Brazilian U.N. troops handed out food and water in one of Haiti’s largest slums yesterday amid criticism that aid was not getting to earthquake victims fast enough.
The Pan American Health Organization said there had so far been no sign of a feared outbreak of contagious disease among survivors camped out in filthy conditions in about 300 makeshift shelters across Haiti’s shattered capital, Port-au-Prince.
But some complained they were not getting enough aid 12 days after a massive earthquake hit the Caribbean country, despite a huge, U.S.-led international relief effort.
In the capital’s gang-ridden Cite Soleil slum, U.S. Army Humvees formed a corridor alongside cinder block houses, and hundreds of Haitians lined up to receive food packs, water and crackers. The slum has long been a flashpoint for violence, but there were no reports of disturbances as food delivery began.
Creole speakers standing on trucks gave out instructions through loudspeakers, and bags of rice, beans, corn flour and plaster were handed out.
“The aid we have available ... is being pushed out,” said Lt. Gen. Ken Keen, commander of the U.S. military operation in Haiti. “But the need is tremendous.
“Every day is a better day than yesterday. Tomorrow will be better than the day before.”