Quake Orphans Escape Tragic Island Forever; Child Victims of Haiti Disaster Head for New Life Abroad

Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland), January 23, 2010 | Go to article overview

Quake Orphans Escape Tragic Island Forever; Child Victims of Haiti Disaster Head for New Life Abroad


Byline: Donna Watson

HUNDREDS more orphans are being evacuated from Haiti to live with new parents abroad.

The latest group of children arrived yesterday in France, where they will be adopted. They follow 123 sent to the Netherlands and 54 who flew to the US earlier this week.

Carla Bruni, wife of French president Nicolas Sarkozy, was there to greet the tragic kids in Paris.

Thousands of chi ldren were orphaned in last week's earthquake, triggering a rush of inquiries from around the world.

Even before the quake, Haiti had 380,000 orphans in need of homes.

But yesterday, charities said children whose parents are dead or unaccounted for should be reunited with their extended families.

And international adoption should only be considered as a last resort.

Hannah Reichardt, of Save the Children, said: "We would prefer for children at this stage to stay in their communities.

"International adoption should not happen in this stage of an emergency when people are still being pulled out from the rubble. It is far too early."

Hundreds of thousands of Haitians fled their quake-ravaged capital city yesterday amid government promises of refuge in safe, clean camps.

Aid workers said 200,000 people crammed into buses, nearly swamped ferries and set out on foot to escape Port-au-Prince.

For those who stayed, engineers started levelling land for tent cities - supposedly temporary - that are meant to house 400,000 people.

The goal is to halt the spread of disease at makeshift settlements that have no water or sewers.

Homeless families have erected tarpaulins and tents, cardboard and scrap as shelter from the sun - but they will be useless once the summer rainy season hits.

Fritz Longchamp, chief of staff to president Rene Preval, said the new camps "are going to be places where they will have at least some adequate facilities".

Last night, an 84-year-old woman was rescued after spending 10 days under rubble in Port-au-Prince. …

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