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Last updated: 22 January, 2010 - Published 13:22 GMT
 
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UN forges ahead in Haiti
 
Makeshift shelters in Haiti

Relief workers in Haiti are turning most of their attention to providing medical and food aid to earthquake survivors.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has said the international aid effort "will now have to move on from an emergency response phase to more ongoing relief."

"The rescue teams are concentrating more and more on humanitarian aid for those who need it," a UN spokesperson confirmed on Friday.

Elisabeth Byrs, of the UN's Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, said some exhausted search teams were beginning to return home.

Hopes have faded, so long after untold numbers were trapped in the debris, and some of the 1,700 specialists, working in four dozen teams with 160 dogs, have begun demobilising.

The UN has said that 121 people found alive under the rubble is a record number in such a disaster.

Security and stability

Mr Ban spoke of the new emphasis after meeting UN envoy to Haiti Bill Clinton.

He said three priorities had been agreed upon after those talks - the humanitarian work with a mechanism to deliver relief supplies, building security and stability, and reconstruction and economic recovery.

Mr Clinton said that the "Cash for Work" programme which was launched in Haiti by the United Nations Development Programme was the next step.

 121 people found alive under the rubble is a record number in such a disaster
 
UN

"It really is important to give young people something positive to do and a lot of people there want to be a part of rebuilding their country," he said.

The programme pays young Haitians to carry out tasks in cleaning up destroyed areas in the capital Port-au-Prince.

A Haitian government-estimation says up to 200,000 may have died, as reported by the European Commission.

Some 200,000 people have been injured and one million are displaced following the quake on 12 January.

'Straining every nerve'

A further two million need food assistance, according to the UN.

Almost $1billion in foreign aid has been pledged to help Haiti recover from the quake.

The UN says it's straining every nerve to improve the speed with which aid is delivered to survivors.

But the complaints about the operation persist -- with concern expressed over the UN's own role and its co-ordination with the United States and other relief agencies.

However, John Holmes, the emergency relief co-ordinator at the UN, defended the operation in a BBC interview, saying it was becoming more competent by the day.

 
 
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