May 22, 2022

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OAS promises support for post-earthquake reconstruction of Haiti

OAS promises support for post-earthquake reconstruction of Haiti

First Amendment:

The member states of the Organization of American States (OAS) pledged on August 20 during an extraordinary meeting to cooperate in the reconstruction of Haiti, after the devastating 7.2-magnitude earthquake last Saturday. Meanwhile, looting and destroyed roads make it difficult for aid to reach those affected, including in remote areas of the country.

All member states must be Haiti. This was confirmed by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Costa Rica, Rodolfo Solano, during the extraordinary meeting of the Organization of American States, where its members pledged to help in the reconstruction of Haiti.

The Permanent Council of the Organization of American States emphasized that they were facing a great challenge and a humanitarian crisis, but promised to help rebuild the nation.

However, the Organization of American States did not specify what donation it would make or how it would direct the aid, after the Haitian authorities in the past eleven years have accused of not getting all the money, raised by international donors, to people who need it. .

During Friday’s meeting, the current Prime Minister of Haiti, Ariel Henry, was present, who said that once this “phase of urgency” is over, which is expected to last “a few weeks”, they should start thinking about reconstruction. .

The Haitian leader realizes that the challenge is enormous, so he is urging the entire international community to help. Henry, who made it clear that he is working alongside the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) on a comprehensive assessment, said to prepare a report with reconstruction needs and in other areas that would be submitted “in the shortest possible time” to potential donors.

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The poorest country in the hemisphere that has yet to recover from the historic earthquake of 2010 has been hit by a double disaster in recent days. A 7.2-magnitude earthquake hit the country on August 14, killing at least 2,200 people.

Plus, when the nation was not yet out of the panic, earlier this week it was hit by Tropical Storm Grace, and has now turned into a hurricane as it approaches the Gulf of Mexico.

Looting and road collapses, immediate challenges in getting aid to remote areas

Survivors have protested the slow arrival of food, water, blankets and other essentials they are still unable to get nearly a week after the earthquake that left them in the open.

As desperation for help mounts, some aid shipments are looted. This Friday, the international food NGO Food For The Poor reported that at least four of its trucks had been robbed.

An employee rides a World Food Program truck to deliver food to earthquake victims, in Camp Perrin, Haiti, on August 20, 2021. On the same day, at least four trucks from the international NGO Food For The Poor were looted. Southern Highway as they prepare to deliver aid to victims of the August 14 earthquake. © EFE / Orlando Barría

The aid was directed to the regions of Abrico, Pestel, Jeremy and Kemet Island, all of which were badly affected by the earthquake that left at least 332 people missing, destroyed about 53,000 homes and damaged 77,000.

“We learned with indignation that unknown individuals looted 4 trucks on their way to provide assistance to the affected population,” the organization said while asking authorities to ensure road safety for the delivery of assistance.

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Added to this problem are impassable roads, another obstacle when it comes to getting aid to remote and needy areas.

People waiting to receive food to be distributed by the World Food Program enter the compound where the donations are located, in Camp Perrin (Haiti), on August 20, 2021.
People waiting to receive food to be distributed by the World Food Program enter the compound where the donations are located, in Camp Perrin (Haiti), on August 20, 2021. © EFE / Orlando Barría

On Friday alone, landslides and cracks in the asphalt on the main inland mountain road between Les Caye and Jeremy in the southwest, two of the worst-hit urban areas, made it difficult to get aid to communities. of food and drinking water. Reuters witnesses said the road was littered with stones.

As if that weren’t enough, the quake left about 12,300 injured when the few medical centers collapsed. The recent kidnapping of two doctors in the capital, Port-au-Prince, including one of the few trained orthopedic surgeons in the country, has further hampered care. Some hospitals decided to close them temporarily as a form of protest to demand the release of the professionals responsible for the accident.

With Reuters and EFE