Antigua Observer | Ramdin Urges International Community Not to Give Up on Haiti

Antigua Observer | Published Jan 11, 2013

ASHINGTON, Jan 11, CMC – Assistant Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), Albert Ramdin Friday urged the international community not to wane in their commitment to Haiti, three years after a powerful earthquake killed 300,000 people and left more than a million others homeless in the French-speaking Caribbean Community (CARICOM) country.

Ramdin told an event organized by  the Pan American Development Foundation (PADF) and the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington, D.C. that Haiti remains high on the agenda of the OAS which continues to mobilize support for the country from across the Americas.

He told the panel discussion that while commitment from the international community has been unprecedented, “there is a limited window of opportunity for Haiti to experience this level of commitment.

“I would hope that international commitment would not wane, but the reality is that global and domestic pressures have caused priorities to be reassessed for many countries.

“A foundation has been laid in Haiti and the government is working to ensure this foundation is built upon. Political stability, economic stimulation, education and employment remain priorities which we share,” Ramdin told the participants that also included  experts from the Wilson Center and Habitat for Humanity, Haitian Ambassadors Paul Altidor and Duly Brutus, as well as United States Department of State Special Coordinator for Haiti Thomas Adams.

The event here was to discuss “What It Takes To Build Back Better in Haiti”.

Ramdin said that Haiti is now chairing the 15-member CARICOM grouping for the next six months and suggested it is an indication that Port au Prince is in a position to focus simultaneously on both regional and domestic issues.

“Three years after the earthquake, we all must reassess what we have learned, what we have achieved, and how we should adjust our approach. Our commitment to Haiti should not wane. Haiti’s progress is an indicator of our region’s success or failure,” he said.

International experts have indicated that Haiti needs billions of dollars for its rehabilitation following the January 12, 2010 earthquake, but in recent months, various organisations including the OAS and the United Nations have appealed to the countries that have made pledges to honour them.