AFRICA/HAITI - Christmas also for the poor in Haiti, victims of the earthquake

Friday, 16 December 2011

Port au Prince (Agenzia Fides) - At last, even the many poor, victims of the severe earthquake that struck Haiti in 2010, will celebrate Christmas through a program of government activity extended throughout the national territory for the benefit of the disadvantaged communities. In a press conference released by a popular local magazine, the head of the Haitian government said: "We do not have great resources at the moment, but we would like to celebrate the holidays with the entire population." These celebrations will certainly contribute to the revival of some sectors of the economy of the country and to involve the society, so far seriously affected since the earthquake. At the same time security measures to ensure public safety during these days will be taken, where traditionally there is an increase in urban violence. More than 580 thousand Haitians, 5% of the population, still live in tents in camps located where there are lots of rapes, violence, diseases, threats of expulsion by landowners and where they live in inhuman conditions. The country continues to suffer because of a cholera epidemic that has so far killed nearly 7 000 people and has infected more than 600 thousand. According to official figures, nearly 80% of the Haitian population, about 8 million people, live in extreme poverty and only 30% of the population has a job. (AP) (Agenzia Fides 16/12/2011)