A quick update, from the United Nations logistics base by the Port-au-Prince airport.
I will be working for a few months with the International Organization for Migration, which is coordinating the provision of shelter for Haitians, and issue increasingly in the public spotlight.
It is going to be a rapid learning process. The situation is evolving quickly, and there is currently a shift in focus away from the provision of tents – which are a short-term solution, and in short supply – to more durable constructions, sufficient to withstand the oncoming rains. Haiti’s hurricane season begins in June, but lighter rains begin in late February onwards and adequate shelter will be a priority.
A curious sensation coming back; I came via land from Santa Domingo… as I moved in from the border a flood of memories of the life we were building up. There is little time to dwell on such thoughts, however. The UN is still in full emergency mode, and the log base is a hive of activity – a dusty world of tents and makeshift offices, urgent meetings, coordination groups – as well as the arrival of many new people to support the teams who have been working non-stop since the quake. It reminds me a little of my time in Bagram airbase, in Afghanistan in 2002.
Will update soon with pics, more impressions.