Haiti orphan numbers skyrocket - Macleans.ca

Haiti orphan numbers skyrocket

Parents abandoning children after the quake, aid agencies say


The earthquake in Haiti left at least 1.3 million of the island’s nine million people homeless, which has led countless families to abandon their kids, the Associated Press reports. Stuck in leaky tents and with handouts slowing, families are abandoning their kids with the hopes that aid organizations might give them a better life, aid workers told the news agency. One social worker reports of a 1-year-old baby found in a dumpster, whose father visited him once in hospital and then left him. Another tells of a 4-day-old baby girl found in a cardboard box outside a hospital, while a 3-year-old was found outside a private clinic holding a bag of folded underwear, a note pinned to his shirt asking someone to look after him. Even before the earthquake, parents would leave children at orphanages, where they got at least one meal a day, but now the number of abandoned kids has skyrocketed. In February, the United Nation’s Children’s Fund set up a toll-free hotline for abandoned or lost kids, which has registered 960 of them so far. “We don’t call them orphans because they could have family,” said Edward Carwardine, UNICEF’s spokesman in Haiti.

LA Times

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