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UN gives up on searching for bodies, focuses on aid

UN-led teams in Haiti are switching their focus away from searching for people trapped in collapsed buildings to delivering aid, and some teams are starting "to go home," a spokeswoman said Friday.

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AFP - UN-led teams in Haiti are switching their focus away from searching for people trapped in collapsed buildings and some teams are starting "to go home," a spokeswoman said Friday.

"The rescue teams are concentrating more and more on humanitarian aid for those who need it," said Elisabeth Byrs, a spokeswoman for the UN's Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

Some teams "which are exhausted are starting to go home," she told AFP, while teams equipped with heavy equipment were "continuing to pull out corpses."

International search and rescue teams coordinated by the United Nations had managed to find 121 people alive under the rubble by earlier this week, a record number in such a disaster, according to OCHA.

The government of Haiti estimates that some 200,000 people have been injured and one million are displaced following the quake on January 12, while two million need food assistance, according to the UN.

An estimated 500,000 to 700,000 people are displaced in the capital Port-au-Prince, the UN said.

 

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