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Last Updated: Friday, 11 June, 2004, 20:37 GMT 21:37 UK
Diary: Haitian flood relief - VI
Crowds watch the arrival of a WFP aid lorry in Fond Verrettes
Aid agencies are delivering everything from flour to water
Marie-Josette Pierre is a Haitian woman who has worked for the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) since 2001. She has a daughter Cindy, five, and a son Jerry, 16 months.

Here she describes for BBC News Online a day spent seeking ways to get food aid to those still trapped in flooded areas:

0455 - Patrick has to try three times to wake me, I did not sleep well.

0633 - I drop Cindy at school. Many are closed because there is a religious festival today. Haitian people parade round the streets singing hymns and reciting prayers.

0725 - I arrive at the office. Belkacem, the logistics guy, is already there planning the helicopter food lift.

0750 - Belkacem tells us to hurry: the flight is scheduled to go at 0830. I have so much still to do in the office.

Progress is slow in our routine projects because of the crisis.

0840 - The helicopter takes off. All I can see are mountains.

I think of the people who live down there, far from civilisation.

I dare not think what would have happened if we had not arrived with our helicopter

I wonder what made them choose that life.

0915 - We arrive at Mapou. The runway seems deserted.

Then the faces of people appear. They have been hiding behind the trees.

Shannon from Unicef tells us several cases of acute malnutrition have been diagnosed in Mapou.

He asks us for some vitamin-enriched flour to make porridge for 60 children in the therapeutic feeding centre they have set up in the school-cum-clinic.

I promise to try and get him some.

0920 - I go back to the clinic. There is an emergency.

Doctors Without Frontiers ask us to evacuate an eight-month pregnant woman. I go to take a look at her.

An eight-year old boy watches the arrival of a convoy
Children like eight-year old Lenor Zetrene are the most vulnerable
She is very pale and staring into space. She is also bleeding.

I call the Port-au-Prince office to tell them. I dare not think what would have happened if we had not arrived with our helicopter.

0940 - I go back to the runway to see if I can find some volunteer packers to help with the unloading.

It is market day. Some women, accompanied by their donkeys, set off for the market.

Others take their skinny goats, all they have left.

I hear the helicopter. It creates a whirlwind of dust. People hurl themselves to the ground. It is like being in a war film.

We begin handing out the food. In the gathered crowd, people start shouting. They do not move hoping there will be something left for them.

1120 - Its the second convoy. The enriched flour has arrived.

The helicopter has also brought gallons of water as the NGOs have almost run out.
To stop them arguing we always gives it to the oldest person to carry

We begin distribution. The crowd cannot organise itself into groups by region, some of the regional representatives are missing.

Today its the multinational force made up of Chilean and US soldiers who are looking after security.

1250 - The last food convoy.

The American captain in charge of the regiment sent to keep the peace brings us bottles of water. The sun is beating down and we have been here nearly four hours without a break.

From here I can watch the reaction of people receiving the aid.

Everyone behaves the same - they all argue over who will carry the gallon of oil they will share.

For them oil is like gold. To stop them arguing we always gives it to the oldest person to carry.

1310 - The American captain says that in an hour they will have to return to their base in Port-au-Prince because it is cloudy.

I panic - we still have food on the ground. I get them to put the food in storage at a nearby clinic-school.

If the soldiers leave the remaining food lying around it might be stolen.

1445 - We have finished. Our work is done.

The soldiers leave in their large helicopter. We wait for our smaller one which will take us to Port-au-Prince.

1600 - When we get back to the office there is a nasty surprise waiting for us - the helicopter that should have landed at 1500 will not be here until 1800. It is becoming worrying.

1715 - Meeting with Elise, the deputy country director.

I turn on my computer, read my emails. Today I could not face paperwork. That happens sometimes, especially when you are exhausted.

Happily I have a few days off coming up. I plan to just rest.

1840 - My daughter Cindy runs into my office. My husband is waiting in the car. I turn off my computer. Jerry is already asleep.

On the way home I ring Belkacem to hear about the helicopter. The news is not good: it has not yet arrived.

He is going to see if the American soldiers can help us out, like yesterday.

2010 - Home, finally. My children are sleeping.




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