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A third of displaced Haitians leave temporary camps: IOM

by Staff Writers
Geneva (AFP) Dec 10, 2010
The number of displaced people who have been living in camps since January's deadly earthquake in Haiti has fallen by a third, the IOM said Friday, noting however that a million remained in these temporary shelters.

"Some 500,000 internally displaced people have now left the camps from a peak of 1.5 million over the summer months to just over one million in November," said Jemini Pandya, spokeswoman of the International Organisation for Migration.

Pandya said an even larger proportion of people had moved out of camps in other Haitian towns, such as Leogane, Petit Goave, Gressier, Grand Goave and Jacmel.

The spokeswoman noted that many people had begun looking for alternative lodgings amid the rainy season, which "made it unbearable for many to remain in often leaking tents."

"Fears of cholera due to poor sanitation and hygiene also persuaded many people to seek alternative housing solutions outside of the camps," added Pandya.

Some have returned to repaired homes, while about 100,000 have been rehoused in transitional shelters.

The devastating earthquake which struck in January killed 250,000 people. Since recent months, Haiti has also been battling an cholera outbreak that has claimed 2,100 lives.

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