NEW YORK–(ENEWSPF)–March 18, 2010. In advance of a crucial donors’ conference on Haiti, 300 organizations today joined together and submitted a two-page letter of principles to participating states. MADRE, an international women’s human rights organization, participated in this effort to ensure that human rights principles are embedded in the international community’s response to January’s devastating earthquake in Haiti.
Donor countries will meet at the United Nations (UN) in New York on March 31, in a gathering to be chaired by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Yesterday, the Haitian government released a needs assessment that estimated $11.5 billion would be required for the country to rebuild and expand its infrastructure, social programs and more.
MADRE Policy and Communications Director Yifat Susskind said today, “Rebuilding Haiti on a more sustainable, equitable and disaster-resilient foundation will require using human rights standards to guide the recovery process. The women of Haiti must play meaningful roles in this process along with other sectors of Haitian civil society. Their priorities and perspectives, and not the financial interests of corporations, should be the starting point for discussion among donors.”
The letter of principles submitted today underscores that assistance must be accountable to all Haitian people and must respect their human rights. Assistance projects must be driven by Haitian leadership and must invest in building long-term capacity. The letter emphasizes the role of the government of Haiti as a key partner for the international community and for non-profit organizations.
Furthermore, the letter recommends specific mechanisms to ensure that information is provided transparently to the Haitian people and to allow for feedback from the community level.