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Surveying needs outside Port-au-Prince

Haiti, January 28, 2010

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There's been a massive outward migration from Port-au-Prince to the rural areas. I'm texting this blog entry from the countryside now, where I'm with Bill Holbrook, our country director, and Diane Johnson, our global economic development czar. We're visiting groups of people who fled the city to identify their needs.

I met the mayor of Mirebalais -- which is about an hour north of Port-au-Prince -- to talk about how the arrival of 15,000 people into his 9,000-person small town over the last week has impacted his community. He says crime is up, food stocks are almost depleted and they don't know what to do.

Mercy Corps is planning to respond to these needs and work to create jobs and opportunities here, so the displaced families don't become a burden on the host community.