Several foreign donors pledged new aid to Haiti as the country observed last weekend the third anniversary of a devastating earthquake that resulted in an unprecedented outpouring of support for the conflict-ridden island nation.
At a memorial ceremony held Jan. 12 in Port-au-Prince, Haitian President Michel Joseph Martelly expressed dissatisfaction with the country’s speed of recovery and called on the international development community to trust his leadership. The Haitian government took charge of the country’s development plan late last year.
Haiti was a big topic over the weekend as media outlets and aid groups around the world took stock of the country’s progress, including the European Union and the governments of Canada, France, Spain and the United States. U.N. institutions such as the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, the World Food Program, the U.N. Development Program and the International Organization for Migration revisited their recent work while U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon called for the community’s continuous support for the Caribbean nation.
Many of the hundreds of nongovernmental organizations operating in Haiti gave updates of their work as well, including ActionAid U.K. on food security, Amnesty International on housing projects, CARE International on poverty reduction and financial inclusion, Habitat for Humanity on emergency shelters, Handicap International on emergency response and disaster preparedness, the International Medical Corps on health infrastructure, the International Rescue Committee on women empowerment, Mercy Corps on resilience and community development and World Vision on services for children.
Similarly, the American and the British Red Cross, and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies also recalled their housing, livelihood and urban regeneration programs in Haiti, with the IFRC further identifying what it sees as an “immense challenge” Haiti is still facing.
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