Hundreds of Haitians protest over lack of food

3 years ago

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(7 Feb 2010)
1. Various of protesters running through the streets
2. Crowd of protesters waving their hands in the air and chanting
3. Woman shouting and showing her stomach in sign of hunger
4. Various of protesters waving tree branches and chanting
5. People chanting on the streets
6. SOUNDBITE: (Creole) Protester, no name given:
“We are starving to death, we cannot find anything to eat, they are selling the rice. We can”t find the rice because the mayor is selling the rice.”
7. People protesting as United Nations vehicle drives past
8. UN peacekeepers watching protest from vehicle, pan to protesters
9. Boy hitting side of truck with fists during protest
10. Man distributing water to protesters
STORYLINE:
Dozens of Haitians took to the streets of the capital Port-au-Prince on Sunday, calling for food and accusing a local official of selling rice that was meant to be given out as aid.
The protesters ran through the capital”s Petionville neighbourhood, chanting slogans against the mayor of the local council, Claire Lydie Parent.
It is the third time in a week that people have marched to protest against Parent, a political ally of President Rene Preval”s government.
The protesters claim the mayor is charging residents to receive free coupons that the World Food Programme is distributing to people in order to claim bags of rice.
“We are starving to death, we cannot find anything to eat, they are selling the rice. We can”t find the rice because the mayor is selling the rice,” said one protester.
In the last week, the United Nations has implemented a coupon food distribution system specifically aimed at giving food out to women and to prevent young men from forcing themselves to the front of food lines.
But people are complaining that the system has boosted violence against women and created a black market for the coupons.
Aid workers say food and other supplies are now flowing into the country three weeks after the 12 January earthquake, but red tape, fear of ambush, transportation bottlenecks and corruption are keeping it from many people in need.
Security concerns, including looting, have plagued Port-au-Prince since the 7.0-magnitude quake destroyed large parts of the capital.
The earthquake killed an estimated 200-thousand people and left as many as 3 (m) million in need of food, shelter and medicine.

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