HAITI FUND

Emancipation Support Committee

Launch of Fund for the Reconstruction and Development of Haiti

Background

On Tuesday 12 January a 7.0 Earthquake struck Haiti in close proximity to its capital Port-au-Prince,

which is host to almost a third of Haiti’s population. In the aftermath of the disaster it has been estimated

that some 3 million people have been affected, 1.5 million are homeless, with a death toll that may reach

anywhere between 100,000 and 250,000. Official reports say that over 75,000 bodies have been buried in

mass graves. There are no counts on those buried by friends and relatives or the bodies left in the rubble,

and no body counts in areas not yet reached by relief efforts. It should be noted that the estimated death toll

following the Asian Tsunami of 2004, was 250,000, a figure which the World Health Organization called

“unprecedented in recorded History”.

The extent of the catastrophe in Haiti however goes far beyond what is conveyed by the horrendous death

toll, the number of persons homeless and other such staggering statistics. The virtual wipe out of the capital

of Haiti has severely damaged the country’s institutional infrastructure by destroying not only most of the

buildings critical to administration, education, health, other essential services and business, but by

eliminating vital human capital, and burying in the rubble stored information essential to the operation of

the society, an incalculable proportion of which may forever be lost. Effective government, business,

communications, national and international agency services and capacities all essentially collapsed within

seconds along with the buildings and infrastructure.

Amidst the ruins, and the unfathomable individual and collective grief, countless families, the very bedrock

institution of any society, now remain broken and bereaved, further stressing the functional capability of

the society.

With the combined impact of such near total breakdown of a functioning society and the escalation of

medical emergencies, homelessness, hunger, thirst and threats of major epedemics, massive international

efforts to supply basic needs will be essential for a long time. In light of the emergency needs, the

Emancipation Support Committee renews its public encouragement to citizens to continue their generous

support to reliable funds for the relief efforts in Haiti. Apart from the public call we made after the

disastrous earthquake, we have been directing the many persons who have contacted us to channel support

through the Media Net Haiti Relief Fund.

As much as the relief is important, we also have to direct our thoughts at the reconstruction effort in small

ways and in big. Haiti’s fate as a viable nation now lies in the balance. The capacity, will and

determination of Haitians to drive their own development is not in question. The history has many

demonstrations of that indomitable will and capability of Haitians to shape their own destiny. The finest

examples were shown in the revolution and the immediate post revolutionary period when a society had to

be reconstructed out of physical ruins that were proportionately larger than the destruction of the

earthquake. The Citadel built atop the mountain (Cap Haitien), by Africans who had just freed themselves

from slavery, as the core of the country’s military defense, has often been described in awe as the eighth

wonder of the world.

At every period in history where the people have been able to carve out some breathing space politically,

the last being the brief periods of Aristide’s government, we have seen progress against great odds and

obstacles.

Once more Haitians are called upon to make a superhuman effort for recovery, reconstruction and

development. The will and spirit seen in the small miracles of survivors, including the very old, pulled

smiling from the ruins long after logic would have killed hope, the courage with which Haitians, including

the wounded, combined their efforts to rescue fellow citizens from the rubble with their bare hands, the

calm and fortitude with which they faced their fate, all tell us of their preparedness to surmount the

challenges of reconstruction. We have a sacred duty to them, to ourselves and to all of humanity, to do all

that we can to help the Haitian people to raise the new civilization they deserve out of the ruins.

This recognition, combined with a deep historical and emotional commitment to the people to whom we

owe our freedom, compels us to do all that we can to work with Haitians to rise again. Strategically we

have placed our emphasis on the reconstruction and development efforts. We know that when the cameras

leave Port Au Prince and the inevitable pledges of massive aid, which will emerge from international

conferences, remain unfulfilled, the Haitians will be left with fewer friends and scarce material resources to

pull their lives together again.

But even the scarcity of resources and friends will not be the major obstacle to Haiti’s development. That

will come from the interference of powerful countries and interests. Just as the military (in the name of

security, for whom?) far outweighed the humanitarian in the initial US response on the ground,

considerations that are not directed at the well being or developmental goals of Haitians will certainly

dominate the reconstruction effort if those countries which have the most capacity in terms of material

resources are able to determine the quality and direction of Haiti’s reconstruction.

We cannot forget for a moment that the relationship of many of these countries to Haiti for two centuries,

and continuing unabated into the 21

st Century has been one of implacable hatred. The history has been one

of embargo, extortion, political destabilization, military invasion, economic exploitation and strangulation

and a relentless assault on the character of the people.

This is not cause for despair but a reason for determination. We have to make our best effort to raise funds

that will be needed to help the efforts of grassroots organizations in Haiti to rebuild and embark on long

term sustainable development projects, to help wider regional efforts at governmental and nongovernmental

levels that can support larger Caribbean interventions in partnership with Haitians. We have

to strengthen the recognition that Caribbean people have a special role to play in ensuring the independence

and development of our neighbour. That involves changing the international political climate within which

Haiti operates, spearheading the mobilization of the wider African Diaspora community, securing the

cooperation of African countries, and identifying partners throughout the international community who

have the decency to stand against exploitative designs on a prostrate country.

ESC PROPOSED ACTIONS

Against this background, the ESC, after consultations with its Haitian partners announces the following:

1. We have established a Haiti Reconstruction and Development Fund to which we invite members of

the public to contribute generously.

2. We are proposing that Caribbean governments to set up a CARICOM Community scholarship

programme for Haitian young women and men to strengthen redevelopment skills in areas such

as:

a. Construction

b. Health

c. Early Childhood Education

d. Agriculture

3. Along with our Caribbean partners we will help in mobilizing technical skills throughout the region

to help Haitians in their development thrusts

4. Our organization and its Caribbean partners will be embarking on an advocacy campaign which

supports initiatives that strengthen a positive enabling environment in which Haiti can chart its

own path of development.

Emancipation Support Committee

Haiti Re-Development Fund

Republic Bank Limited

Account Number:

180 482 611 901

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2 responses to “HAITI FUND

  1. Ese Eledumare. Organise, organise, organise!

    • yorubasacredsciencecentre

      Don’t agonise! Don;t agonise! Don’t agonise.Once again thanks for your visit to out site and your comments and participation. Keep visiting toknow what is taking place on the international arena re: rehabilitation and reconstuction efforts for HAITI.EGBE ONISIN EELEDUMARE have initiated collaboration between several orisa-based organizations ot have a direct intervention in HAITI by year’s end.Your support will be needed. Oloye Orawale Oranfe

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