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The Last Survivor

By Spenser L.
Texas, Age 10

Jan 29, 2010
The Last Survivor

PORT-AU-PRINCE - HAITI'S quake survivors faced rising insecurity Friday with thousands of criminals on the loose and reports of violence plaguing the weak and vulnerable.

Aid is still only trickling in despite a vast international relief effort launched after the January 12 disaster, and hundreds of thousands of homeless people are sheltering in tent camps short of food and medicines.

The deputy head of the UN mission in Haiti, Anthony Banbury, told AFP that desperate survivors waiting in line for aid were sometimes turning violent. While the emergency relief was vital after the quake, which killed 170,000 people, 'at the same it can be a source of insecurity because it attracts big crowds and there can be disorder around food distribution.'

Speaking in Jacmel, a ruined town near the capital Port-au-Prince, Banbury said that it was 'absolutely necessary that we get enough food, enough water, enough shelter for the people, and enough security.'

Because of the lack of electricity in Port-au-Prince, 'bandits are taking advantage to harass women and young girls under the tents,' national police chief Mario Andresol said.

He said more than 7,000 prisoners had escaped on the day of the quake. 'It took us five years to apprehend them. Today they are running wild.' Security was already tenuous in Haiti before the 7.0-magnitude quake, but the police force has been crippled with hundreds of members dead or missing.