Frustration has grown at the slow pace of aid since the Jan. 12 earthquake hit Haiti, and the UN warns that the security situation is becoming increasingly volatile.
The task of getting relief to those who need it has fallen to organizations like the American Refugee Committee, which is based in Minneapolis. The ARC's Monte Achenbach has just returned to Minnesota after spending two weeks on the ground in Haiti. He led a team providing shelter, health care, and other critical services to thousands of Haitians.
Achenbach said the situation is Haiti is still desperate, because "everyting you can imagine in the society is no longer functioning in the way it would have been," including schools, government agencies and businesses.
Achenbach said that food and medical aid are starting to flow more freely into the country, and that the most critical need right now is for shelter.
More than 80 percent of the population of Port-au-Prince are living outside, he said.
"They are terrified to go back into their homes, or whose homes have been destroyed. They separate their spaces with bedsheets," he said.
The people of Haiti need solid tents and more substantial structures to protect them when the rains and hurricane season begin later this year.
While much attention has been paid to the destruction of so many buildings in Haiti, and the plight of orphaned children, Achenbach said less attention has been paid to the devastation of the economy itself -- which was fragile even in the best of times.
"Those who were the future of the country, who were employed and generating jobs through businesses themselves, are now out of their own jobs," he said, "and they are desparate to figure out how they can reclaim their livelihood."
Achenbach said the American Refugee Committee is launching a program called Cash for Work within the next few days, to provide temporary employment for Haitians.
"So you can get immediate jobs to people cleaning up, doing relatively simple day labor work, get cash in the economy, and give people something meaningful to do."