International

Anti-UN Violence In Haiti Stopping Medical Supplies

Haiti Battles With Cholera Outbreak, As Death Toll Reaches 1,000

A victim of the cholera outbreak covered in a plastic bag and soaked with a bleach solution is carried through a cemetery to a tomb by workers on November 16, 2010 in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.  Joe Raedle/Getty Images South America hide caption

itoggle caption Joe Raedle/Getty Images South America

The United Nations says that protests against UN Peacekeepers are keeping critically needed medical supplies from reaching areas struck hardest by the cholera outbreak.

So far, the UN has been forced to cancel flights carrying soap, medical supplies and personnel to Cap Haitien and Port de Paix. On the ground, Oxfam reports suspension of a project to chlorinate water for 300,000 people in slum areas, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has halted training of medical staff in cholera response and a World Food Programme (WFP) warehouse has been looted of 500 metric tonnes of food and burned. Road blocks set up by demonstrators are also hampering people from getting to hospital.

The violent protests broke out over the past few days as Haitians are blaming UN troops for bringing the disease to the island. Haitian President Rene Preval gave a national address pleading for calm, saying protesters and barricades are stopping people from getting needed care. Preval also said looting wouldn't stop the spread of the disease.

More than a thousand people have died from the outbreak, almost 17,000 have been hospitalized.

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