Three years after a devastating earthquake in Haiti that killed more than 200,000 people, a "catastrophic" situation prevails in which hundreds of thousands of people continue to be housed in deplorable conditions, Amnesty International said.
In its latest report on the Caribbean country, AI urged Haitian authorities and the international community to make Haiti's housing plight a top aid priority.
The London-based human rights group noted that the Jan. 12, 2010, earthquake left more than two million people homeless and that three years later more than 350,000 Haitians are still living in 496 refugee camps.
"(L)iving conditions in the makeshift camps are worsening - with severe lack of access to water, sanitation and waste disposal - all of which have contributed to the spread of infectious diseases such as cholera," AI said, citing witness accounts.
Women and children in the camps also are vulnerable to sexual assault.
"As if being exposed to insecurity, diseases and hurricanes were not enough, many people living in makeshifts camps are also living under the constant fear of being forcibly evicted," Javier Zuñiga, an AI Special Adviser, said in the report.
"Haiti suffered from a severe housing deficit even before the earthquake but for hundreds of thousands, the situation today is catastrophic," Zuñiga said.
Haiti is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. EFE