Hundreds of thousands of Haitians were struggling Monday to find food and shelter in the wake of the devastating earthquake last week, as international aid agencies reported a severe lack in supplies despite the overwhelming demand.
"There is little sign of significant aid distribution," said a representative of the Geneva-based Doctors Without Borders.
The aid group also complained of skewed priorities and a supply bottleneck at the U.S.-controlled airport, and urged the U.S. military to be clear on its prioritization of medical supplies and equipment.
Some 2,000 Marines were to arrive of off the shore of the crumbled capital city Monday to help relief organizations get supplies to the earthquake survivors, reinforcing 1,000 U.S. troops already on the ground.
"We're working aggressively to open up other ways to get in here," the on-the-ground U.S. commander in Haiti, Lt. Gen. Ken Keen told NBC's Meet the Press.
Part of that initiative entails fixing Port-au-Prince's harbor, rendered useless for incoming aid because of quake damage. The White House said Sunday that the U.S. Coast Guard ship Oak had arrived and would use heavy cranes and other equipment to make the port functional.
The United Nations World Food Program was on target to reach more than 60,000 people Sunday, up from 40,000 on Saturday, spokesman David Orr said. UN officials said they must raise daily deliveries to 2 million within a month.
But the aid group CARE had yet to set a plan for distributing 38 tons of high-energy biscuits in outlying areas of Haiti, CARE spokesman Brian Feagans said Sunday. He did not say why.
Also Monday, UN peacekeeping chief Alain Le Roy said he planned to ask the Security Council to temporarily increase the UN's force. There are currently about 7,000 UN military peacekeepers and 2,100 international police in Haiti.
The troop increase and an expected request to the UN for more peacekeepers were coming a day after sporadic violence and looting in Port-au-Prince underscored how an uptick in water and food deliveries still fell far short of demand.
"We don't need military aid. What we need is food and shelter," one young man yelled at UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon during his visit to the city Sunday. "We are dying," a woman told him, explaining she and her five children didn't have any food.
Haitian riot police meanwhile fired tear gas to disperse crowds of looters in the city's downtown as several nearby shops burned. Police stopped reporters from heading into the center of Port-au- Prince around LaVille, near the presidential palace, because of shooting and riots.
"They are shooting everybody, journalists, policemen. There are the bad guys," said one Haitian police officer said.
"We've been ordered not to shoot at people unless completely necessary," said Pierre Roger, another officer who spoke as yet another crowd of looters ran by. "We're too little, and these people are too desperate."
Between 70,000-100,000 dead
A reliable death toll may be weeks away, but the Pan American Health Organization estimates 50,000 to 100,000 died in Tuesday's 7.0-magnitude quake. Haitian officials believe the number is higher. Survivors live outside for fear of unstable buildings and aftershocks.
Haitian Prime Minister Jean-Max Bellerive told ABC that an estimated that 70,000 bodies had been recovered from the wreckage, which did not include untold numbers already buried by relatives
On the streets, people were still dying, pregnant women were giving birth and the injured were showing up in wheelbarrows and on people's backs at hurriedly erected field hospitals.
On Sunday, supplies of water made it to more people around the capital and while fights broke out elsewhere, others formed lines to get supplies handed out by soldiers at a golf course. Still, with a blocked city port and relief groups claiming the U.S.-run airport is being poorly managed, food and medicine are scarce. Anger mounted hourly over the slow pace of the assistance.
"White guys, get the hell out!"some survivors shouted in the city's Bel-Air slum, apparently frustrated at the sight of foreigners in their streets who were not delivering help me, a 71-year-old resident said she could hold on for another day.
"Then if the foreigners don't come [with aid], said Jacqueline Thermiti, "it will be up to baby Jesus."
Improbably, five days after the magnitude-7.0 quake struck, more survivors were freed from under piles of concrete and debris.
At a collapsed supermarket, rescuers late Sunday pulled a 30-year-old man and a 40-year-old woman from what had been its fourth floor. Officials said both were in stable condition, able to survive for so long by eating food trapped along with them.
"She's responding, she's with it. So she's in very good shape for somebody who's been basically trapped for five days," said Capt. Joseph Zahralban, a South Florida rescue team leader.
Earlier in the day, a policeman reported three other people had been rescued from market's rubble. Emergency teams said they were still hopeful of finding more possible survivors in other parts of the damaged store.
U.S. teams with search dogs also found and rescued a 16-year-old Dominican girl trapped for five days in a small, three-story hotel that crumbled in downtown Port-au-Prince.
At the UN headquarters destroyed in the quake, rescuers lifted a Danish staff member alive from the ruins, just 15 minutes after Secretary-General Ban visited the site, where UN mission chief Hedi Annabi and at least 39 other staff members were kiled.
UN spokeswoman Elisabeth Byrs said it was possible people could survive until Monday, adding to the 70 lives saved by 1,700 rescue workers since Tuesday's quake.
"There are still people living in collapsed buildings," she told The Associated Press. "Hope continues."
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