As Aid Starts to Flow, Chaos Descends in Haiti

Fractured gov't among the homeless, as officials scramble to better coordinate
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 17, 2010 9:37 AM CST
As Aid Starts to Flow, Chaos Descends in Haiti
A Chinese rescuer holds a sign reading "Colleague, we take you home" in front of a collapsed UN building where eight Chinese peace keeping policemen were buried in Port-Au-Prince, Haiti, Saturday, Jan. 16, 2010.   (AP Photo/Xinhua, Xing Guangli)

(Newser) – Aid began flowing in earnest to pockets of survivors in Haiti today, but violence and looting broke out among those not yet reached as desperation set in—leaving Haiti's devastated government in a chaotic scramble to better distribute supplies. As the Wall Street Journal reports, the country's own president is among its homeless, the would-be savior UN mission is decimated, and aid efforts are still "spontaneous." Elsewhere:

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  • UN chief Ban Ki-Moon is en route to Haiti, the AP reports, with three priorities: Saving as many lives as possible, bolstering humanitarian assistance, and coordinating the huge amount of aid. "We should not waste one dollar," he urged.
  • Because of public health concerns, Haitian officials have buried at least 20,000 dead in mass graves with no effort to identify victims. "This is heart-breaking," sobbed one missionary.
(Read more earthquake stories.)

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