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January 26, 2010
Posted: 1724 GMT

Today we'll show you how the promise of a bag of rice in Port-au-Prince is enough to get hundreds of people standing in line for hours.

I went to see for myself how the first aid distribution operation unfolded and spoke to desperate Haitians, homeless and jobless, many of whom ended up leaving without the promised hand-out.

We spoke to relief workers at the U.N. compound to try to figure out what happened. We were told four trucks with bags of rice and beans unloaded aid and left, creating a bit of a dust-up on the scene.

Overall, the composure and patience of Haitians already so badly affected by the earthquake is the thing that has struck me most about this country after the disaster.

Twenty-seven year old Civil told me: "Things take time. So I will wait."

Today, we will also bring you the story of Carmelie Narcisse, an 84 year-old woman who found herself alone after the quake. Her only lifeline: two sons in the United States. We were there when the family reunited in Haiti.

We'll speak to Karl Penhaul live – technology permitting – from today's aid distribution point in front of the presidential palace. We're hearing reports of some scuffles. Some people are frustrated that not everyone is receiving the aid that has been flown into Haiti.

Here in downtown Port-au-Prince, trucks have been spraying disinfectant and I've seen some earth moving equipment clean up the rubble of a collapsed building. A cleanup process that is only at its embryonic stage.

And the Haitian President Rene Preval today asked for 200,000 tents before the rainy and hurricane season. People are now sleeping under sheets and table cloths. The country needs sturdier shelter and more food in the long run.

We will cover all the angles on the story from Haiti and bring you all the latest news headlines from around the world.

See you at the IDesk.

Hala

(Photo Steve Turnham/CNN)

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Filed under: Haiti •Today At The I-Desk


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Derrick Jobson   January 26th, 2010 6:48 pm ET

Advice on orderly queues:
• Two queues: one for men and another for women and children
• Or even better totally different distribution points
• As for the Brazilian peace keepers: spraying pepper in the face of the people in front of the queue will not stop the pushing; they must know that the people at the back are the ones that are pushing the lines.
Simply, some of the peace keepers should move along the queue, to minimise the pushing.
This is just basic common sense.

Ella   January 26th, 2010 7:38 pm ET

Hi,
I know that the Epi center of Earthquake was near to Port-au-Prince and caused a lot of damaged. But what happened to the other part of the country , in the other city? There is almost no repport from the other part of the country!

Thank you for a great work from Haiti.

luis alejandro   January 26th, 2010 10:09 pm ET

hi there hala great story about the family reunion it's nice to see a little bit of happiness in so much sadness.take care

Thot   January 26th, 2010 11:58 pm ET

I’ve the feeling, there is a minority between those who are getting food and water that obtain it just to sell it later, and are even capable to get resources oftener then others.
I understand that besides food, people are desperate for work, but taking advantage of their own suffering people is quite harsh and is a facet difficult to understand in the human species.

Ikeji Jane   January 27th, 2010 10:29 am ET

Hi Hala,

There is so much chaos in Haiti basically on the relief materials.I think i agree with Jobson that the force agents there should make them queue up in a line,they should instill some other from what i see on cnn,i begin to think that Haiti citizens seem lawless,i understand their plight,they want food,shelter,but if they are not organized,they would not get what they need.

Allison   January 28th, 2010 3:48 am ET

Hi Hala,

Fantastic coverage. I live in the UAE and have not missed one of your reports. We are still praying for 2 missing friends at the Hotel Montana , Greg McCalpin and Rosemond James.

Keep up the good work.

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