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Already Faced With Hardships, Haitians’ Lives Upended by Hurricanes

Following the devastating food shortage of the summer, Haiti faced a barrage of powerful hurricanes, which battered the island nation into precarious situation. Fred De Sam Lazaro reports on the struggle that lies ahead as a nation tries to rebuild itself.

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  • HAITIAN WOMAN (through translator):

    I'm dying of hunger, and so are my kids. I came here to get food, but they've given it all away. I haven't eaten anything today. I'm still hungry. I have nothing. Whatever you give me is all I'd have.

  • FRED DE SAM LAZARO:

    They are among perhaps 800,000 Haitians, 10 percent of the population, displaced by the storms, which took at least 300 lives.

    One month after the last hurricane ripped through, roads are still barely usable, still covered with flood waters that are now reduced to a toxic sludge of oils and other pollutants.

  • PRESIDENT RENE PREVAL, Haiti (through translator):

    Just in Gonaives, we have 3 million cubic meters of mud. You can imagine the effort that is needed. I hope the international community understands the profound catastrophe Haiti is going through.

  • FRED DE SAM LAZARO:

    Haiti's president, Rene Preval, has had to rely on the international community to both fund and lead the relief operation in a country where 80 percent live in what the U.N. calls absolute poverty, crippled for years by political and economic meltdown.

    One key player so far has been the non-government group Doctors Without Borders. Max Cosci is a director.

  • MAX COSCI, Doctors Without Borders:

    There is a danger of some outbreaks of some diseases. We are really in a high risk at this moment, red alert, if you want to put it like this.

  • FRED DE SAM LAZARO:

    Red alert?

  • MAX COSCI:

    Yes, there is a large part of the population that doesn't have any access to clean water. And you know after a while that you don't find this capacity to have clean water, you start to drink what you find.

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