CARICOM represented at Haiti donors conference at UN

GEORGETOWN, Guyana –  The Most Honourable Percival J. Patterson, former Prime Minister of Jamaica and Special Representative of the Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) to Haiti, and Ambassador Colin Granderson, Assistant Secretary-General Foreign and Community Relations, CARICOM Secretariat, will represent the Community at an International Donors Conference on Haiti on Wednesday 31 March 2010.

The Conference, aimed at mobilizing international support for the development needs of Haiti to lay the foundation for long-term recovery, will be held at the United Nations Headquarters in New York.

At the meeting, the Donor Community will have the chance to pledge resources, coordinate support towards Haiti’s long-term recovery and commit to a sustained effort to support Haiti. Two pledging sessions have been identified on the provisional programme.

All UN Member States have been invited to the `International Donors’ Conference Towards a New Future for Haiti’ which will be co-hosted by the United States and the United Nations in cooperation with the Government of Haiti, and with the support of Brazil, Canada, the European Union, France and Spain. His Excellency Rene Preval, President of Haiti and the Hon Jean-Max Bellerive, Prime Minister of Haiti will attend the conference that will feature opening remarks by President Preval, UN Secretary-General His Excellency Ban Ki-Moon, and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Special Representative Patterson will address the forum in a segment reserved for CARICOM and financial and development international institutions including the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the World Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the International Monetary Fund, and the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB).

Haiti suffered tremendously after a 7.0 magnitude earthquake struck on 12 January. More than 200 000 persons were killed in the quake that also left hundred of others injured and more than one million homeless. More than 300 000 homes in Haiti and most of the schools and hospitals have been destroyed, damaged or rendered unusable.

The total value of damage and losses have been tagged at almost US$8B, which is equivalent to 120 per cent of Haiti’s 2009 GDP. It is estimated that the country’s recovery will take some $11.5B over the next three years. Fifty per cent of the estimated resources would go to social programmes, 17 percent to infrastructure and 15 per cent to the environment and disaster management.

A Preliminary Damage and Needs Assessment report which lays out the vision of the Haitian Government for a new Haiti will be presented to the Conference on Wednesday. In the report, emphasis is placed on decentralization to lessen the present over-concentration of government, economic and other activities as well as people in the capital, on re-energizing the agriculture sector to address food security, and on a new sense of the state and of government.

The Diaspora, private sector, non-governmental organizations, and stakeholders to MINUSTAH (United Nations Stabilisation Mission in Haiti) are to make presentations at the Conference.

CONTACT: piu@caricom.org

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