Haiti and Chile Earthquakes

Senior UN Official Inspects Ongoing Recovery Efforts in Haiti

NEW YORK–(ENEWSPF)–17 August 2010 – The deputy head of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is visiting Haiti to inspect recovery and development projects supported by the agency and intended to help the Caribbean country emerge from the devastation wrought by the massive earthquake in January.

Rebeca Grynspan, UNDP Associate Administrator, who arrived in Haiti on Friday – her third visit to the country since the earthquake – has met with Haiti’s Prime Minister Jean-Max Bellerive and visited an array of UNDP-supported projects in the capital, Port-au-Prince, and surrounding regions.

“Work in the field is being done in an extremely coordinated way,” said Ms. Grynspan, after discussing achievements and challenges ahead with the UN country team in Haiti. “Agencies are presenting joint projects and engaged in permanent dialogue in order to collectively face tremendous challenges,” she added.

The January earthquake killed hundreds of thousands of people and left another 1.5 million without shelter. It destroyed all but one major Government building and brought Haiti’s economy to a halt. Millions of affected people fled Port-au-Prince for Haiti’s other provinces.

In the aftermath of the temblor, UNDP began leading a series of recovery projects intended to support the Government as it strives to rebuild the country while developing systems aimed at reducing the impact of any future disasters on the population.

Ms. Grynspan and Mr. Bellerive discussed a wide range of recovery, emergency and development needs, including rubble removal, getting children back to school, rebuilding housing and continuing with Government decentralization efforts to the bring decision-making process closer to the people.

“The meeting with the Prime Minister was an excellent opportunity to cover a lot of ground,” Ms. Grynspan. “As the Prime Minister also co-chairs the Interim Commission for Reconstruction, we discussed ways to provide him with all the support he needs in that relevant position,” she added.

Two weeks ago, UNDP and the Haitian Government signed an agreement under which the UN agency will support forthcoming legislative and presidential elections, scheduled for 28 November. UNDP will coordinate donor funding in support of the organization of the polls, according to the agreement.

A meeting between Ms. Grynspan and the majority of Port-au-Prince focused on a cash-for-work programme that has provided 116,000 Haitians, 40 per cent of them women, with short-term jobs following the quake. The project has help inject cash into the local economy while tackling critical rehabilitation needs such as street repairs and rubble removal.

Ms. Grynspan, who will leave Haiti tomorrow, also visited UNDP-supported cash-for-work programmes in the cities of Marigot and Cayes-Jacmel.


Source: un.org