Haiti Earthquake. Death toll rises. UN confirms 37 deaths; UN to Launch $560 million Flash Appeal; Ban to Haiti on Sunday

Ban Ki Moon and his spokesperson just briefed the press.  The UN has confirmed 37 deaths.  36 of whom were affiliated with the peacekeeping mission, MINUSTAH. One of whom worked for the World Food Program.  330 people are still missing and unaccounted for out of a total UN presence of 12,000. 

Meanwhile, Ban Ki Moon said that as many as 50% of buildings in worst hit areas are damaged or destroyed. He said a large proportion of 3 million people are without access to food and water. 

UN Humanitarian Chief John Holmes is about to brief the press. I’ll post another update shortly. 

Photo: Flickr (UN Photo)

UPDATE: From the noon press briefing at UN Headquarters in New York:

UN Humanitarian Chief John Holmes says the UN will launch a $560 million appeal for emergency food aid, water, sanitation, and shelter.  The launch will happen this afternoon, but without Bill Clinton who will be on a plane. 

Holmes also says that 30% of all the buildings in Port au Prince are damaged.  Mass graves will be dug all around the city.

A UN spokesperson says that MINUSTAH is currently re-inforcing and will conduct operations focused on security and facilitating the distribution of aid. 

The spokesperson says that flights from Spain, France, USA, Peru, Chile, Canada, Jamaica, the Domincan Republic, Equador, and Brazil have brought supplies, emergency personnel and food. Jordan, Brazil and Columbia are sending mobile hospitals. 

UPDATE II: Ban Ki Moon will travel to Haiti on Sunday. From the UN: “The Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, met Haitian staff at United Nations headquarters today to comfort them and to offer his condolences. He told them he would visit Haiti on Sunday to show his solidarity with the people of Haiti and UN staff, and to assess the humanitarian assistance effort and the scale of the disaster for himself.”