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UN humanitarian Chief Urges Urgent Support for Displaced Haitians

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The United Nations humanitarian chief John Holmes on Friday called for urgent support from the international community for hundreds of thousands of displaced people in Haiti in the aftermath of the January earthquake.

Along with other top UN officials, Holmes briefed the UN Security Council in an open meeting on the humanitarian situation in Haiti.

With half a million people having left earthquake-affected areas and moved around Haiti, help is badly needed for displaced people and their host communities, he said.

He thanked donors for their generous support so far, adding that additional US$768 million above what has already been funded will be needed in the months ahead.

The United Nations launched a flash appeal for US$1.44 billion for Haiti on Thursday, which included some US$610 million already collected.

Holmes said there are no instant solutions for Haiti, but "we must not waver in helping several million people survive this catastrophe and build better for the future."

In a press statement issued after the meeting, the council expressed solidarity with the Haitian people and welcomed the "exceptional mobilization of the international community to meet the needs of Haiti in the immediate and longer term."

(Xinhua News Agency February 20, 2010)

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