Haiti Takes Center Stage in Davos Economic Forum

The need to support Haiti’s long-term reconstruction was highlighted during the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland on Jan. 28, Associated Press reports. The forum appealed to its rich corporate members to provide aid and invest in long-term reconstruction plans for Haiti.  

Businesses are now realizing that they have a role in building economies in addition to their charity role, said Robert Greenhill, the forum’s managing director. He added that business could use as model their efforts in helping rebuild the Indonesian region of Aceh in the aftermath of the 2004 tsunami.

Also in Davos, United Nations special envoy to Haiti and former U.S. President Bill Clinton made a similar plea.

“I want the people of Haiti not to have to worry about whether they can eat today or get water today… I want them to at least be able to know that from one week to the next they have a place to sleep, that it’s safe and it’s sanitary,” Clinton told a World Economic special session, as quoted by CNN.

Speaking to reporters at the forum, World Food Program Executive Director Josette Sheeran said Haiti is the worst urban disaster the agency ever faced. She added that delivering aid to the agency’s 2 million beneficiaries continue to encounter difficulties, World Radio Switzerland reports.

The U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, meanwhile, told Davos delegates that Haiti is in urgent need of around 200,000 tents as temporary shelter for survivors.

Eliza Villarino contributed to this report.

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    Ivy Mungcal

    As former senior staff writer, Ivy Mungcal contributed to several Devex publications. Her focus is on breaking news, and in particular on global aid reform and trends in the United States, Europe, the Caribbean, and the Americas. Before joining Devex in 2009, Ivy produced specialized content for U.S. and U.K.-based business websites.