GEORGETOWN, Guyana – Members of the regional grouping the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) have pledged financial donations to help Haiti in the aftermath of a powerful earthquake earlier this month.
During a special session of the Bureau of Heads of CARICOM, the member states said the funds will help to address the immediate needs of the country.
An agreement was also reached on the need for a sustained development effort over the long term to give Haiti a fresh start.
This is in addition to the need for a robust and well-coordinated humanitarian response and vaccination effort .
The meeting, that was held on Friday, was called to discuss the political and humanitarian situation in Haiti.
The meeting was presided over by the Chair of Conference – Prime Minister Gaston Browne of Antigua and Barbuda and was attended by the Prime Minister of Belize, John Briceño, Senator Dr. Amery Browne from Trinidad and Tobago, the Prime Minister of Barbados, Mia Mottley, the Prime Minister of Jamaica, Andrew Holness, the Premier of Montserrat, Joseph Farrell as well as the Foreign Ministers of Guyana and Suriname .
During the meeting, Prime Minister of Haiti, Ariel Henry in providing an update stated that his government was dealing with three priorities simultaneously.
These were relief and reconstruction following the earthquake, the need for credible and transparent elections, as well as delivering justice through the complex investigation into the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse.
Henry, in outlining the effects of the aftermath of the earthquake which struck on August 14, and the passage of Tropical Storm Grace which affected the entire southern peninsula of the country on August 16, pointed out that the needs would be clearer after the Post Disaster Needs Assessment (PDNA) was completed in five weeks.
The Haitian Prime Minister also commended CARICOM for its early moral and material support.
During the meeting, ,the Bureau was of the view that the Community must be at the forefront of ensuring that its Member State Haiti has a fresh start as it recovers from the extensive devastation of the earthquake, the passage of tropical storm Grace, a situation that compounded by the assassination of President Moïse.
The Bureau noted that the crisis presented a good opportunity to rebuild Haiti and offered the assistance of the Community in those areas in which Member States had expertise such as the elections process, judicial and investigative support for the inquiry into the death of President Moïse and the restoration of the democratic institutions.
Support was also offered with respect to curbing the crime and violence in Haiti.
The Bureau also assured the Haitian Prime Minister of the Community’s unstinting support for Haiti as it seeks to emerge from its present challenges.