Sofia Echo

Bulgaria abroad

UN appoints Bill Clinton to take charge of Haiti relief efforts

Author: The Sofia Echo Staff Date: Thu, Feb 04 2010 8 Comments, 9246 Views
Share: share on Twitter share on Facebook Share on Google+ Share on LinkedIn
Print Send via email

Across the world, enormous sums of money are being raised by governments, humanitarian organisations, small-scale charities and individuals to help earthquake-devastated Haiti – but there are continuing concerns about how effectively the money will be used, about the co-ordination of efforts, and there are media reports of corruption by local officials.
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on February 3 2010 asked former United States President Bill Clinton, already deeply involved in Haiti before the January 12 earthquake as United Nations Special Envoy to the country, to assume a leadership role in co-ordinating international quake relief, from emergency response to reconstruction to launching a new funding appeal.
"Needless to say, he has hit the ground running; he will be in Haiti on Friday," Ban told journalists after he briefed the Security Council, the UN News Service said.
"In particular, he will provide strategic guidance in our work for Haiti’s early recovery and long-term reconstruction, with a special emphasis on mobilising international support and donor funding."
International efforts to help the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere after the quake, in which up to 200 000 people died, many others were injured and two million left in need of aid, have faced a series of daunting challenges compounded by the enormity of the catastrophe and the lack of infrastructure in providing sufficient food, shelter and other requirements.
Ban and Clinton met at UN Headquarters in New York on February 3 and agreed that one of the most urgent needs right now is shelter with the storm season just months away.
"Important as they are, tents alone will not suffice," Ban said.
"In meeting this and other needs, we agreed that we must move as urgently as possible to develop a clear strategy that mobilises all UN agencies and their partners, including national governments, NGOs and the private sector," he said.
Clinton will work together with UN Development Programme (UNDP) Administrator Helen Clark and Ban’s Special Representative Edmond Mulet.
Ban asked Clinton to launch a revised flash appeal on February 17 2010 to carry the humanitarian effort for the entire year.
The original appeal launched on January 15 sought $562 million, with the bulk going to immediate needs, including food, water and shelter.
Overall the situation in Haiti is largely calm, Ban said.
"Food distribution is growing smoother by the day, and we have now reached about one million people. Banks, markets and schools are beginning to re-open," he added.
In Rome, United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) Executive Director Josette Sheeran thanked the world for generosity and compassion for the people of Haiti, with donors - ranging from governments to companies and even internet gamers - raising almost $230 million in cash and donating valuable goods and services, a WFP media statement said.
"The world has saved many lives in Haiti through an enormously generous and fast response to WFP's food and logistics appeal," Sheeran was quoted in the media statement as saying. "The humanitarian lifeline is now reaching millions of destitute women and children in Haiti. We are very grateful."
WFP's emergency operation has now been extended until the end of 2010 and is likely to cost more than $800 million, more than double the initial budget.
The US government is the largest donor to date, having given $78 million and four million ready-to-eat meals.
The Canadian government has made a contribution of $38 million, Spain has offered $22 million, Japan $9 million and Germany almost $6 million, with Australia, France, Sweden and the UK, all contributing about $3 million.
Contributions announced to WFP's Haiti operation also include Norway ($1.7 million); the European Commission ($1.5 million); Finland ($1.5 million); Netherlands ($1.4 million); Switzerland ($970 873); Italy($945 597); New Zealand ($734 520); China ($500,000); Republic of Korea ($500 000); Ireland ($432 900); Greece ($288 600); Luxembourg ($288 600); Poland ($200 000); Brazil ($135 730); Romania ($72 150); Iceland ($56 000); Colombia ($50 000).
Several African governments, from the Democratic Republic of Congo to Namibia, have donated collectively several million dollars to Haiti. In South Africa, religious organisations and individual charities have raised large sums and an appeal by the country’s public broadcaster raised several hundred thousand euro; the country has also sent rescue teams and large quantities of medical supplies.
Bulgarians, through separate charity and humanitarian initiatives, have donated more than 500 000 euro and the country has sent a military medical team to Haiti. The Bulgarian Red Cross initiative to raise funds for Haiti, through SMSes to the number 1255 and to a special bank account, continues until February 15 2010.
On February 4, the Journal of Turkish Weekly quoted the foreign ministry in Ankara as saying that Osman Ulukan, co-ordinator for relations with Latin American countries, had left for quake-devastated Haiti.
"Ulukan will hand over Turkey's financial aid of $1 million to president Rene Preval of Haiti. He offered Turkish people's condolences to those who lost their beloved ones in the quake disaster," the Turkish foreign ministry was quoted as saying.
However, on February 4 euronews reported in Port-au-Prince, desperate residents had held a protest, saying that corrupt officials were demanding money for international aid.
Speaking to reporters, one woman accused her local mayor of charging 50 Haitian dollars for rice, which he had taken to a warehouse.
Meanwhile, CNN reported, while aid groups have been delivering water, food and hygiene items to quake-devastated Haitians, few of those affected by the earthquake had received counselling for bearing witness to horror.
"Among them, tens of thousands of children - some already impoverished and vulnerable - who now must live with the added burden of terrible memories," CNN said.
Counsellors from Israeli aid agency Natan I-Relief have been training the young teachers in the badly-damaged neighbourhood of Sainte Marie, who themselves suffered in the earthquake, on how to cope with their experiences, according to the report.

  • Churches’ message on Haiti debt relief
  • Unicef, NGO's: Haitian children at risk
  • Bulgaria donates $100 000 after Unesco appeal for help for Haiti
  • Questioners praise Georgieva's 'calm and style'
  • Bulgarian telethon raises close to a million leva for Haiti
  • UN: Significant progress in providing aid to quake victims in Haiti
  • Bulgarians’ donations for Haiti pass 250 000 leva mark
  • Haiti at risk of epidemics, World Health Organisation says
  • Earthquakes 'deadliest of natural disasters' - UN
  • Kristalina clear
  • Bulgarian artists perform for Haiti
  • European Union to send gendarmerie force to Haiti
    • Anonymous
      Maksim Grakis Rating:
      #8 17, 14, Sun, Mar 13 2011

      This is wrong! Even it may be true that Haitian leaders are corrupt,americans are corrupt too. their banks hold crrupt haitians looted funds. Clinton will call American contractors will will rebuild haiti just as they did rebuild Iraq. Don't you see how Iraq has been rebuilt!!! Haitians must be given the chance to rebuild thier country. It is their country. The UN can have a supervisory body under Mr Clinton to insure transparency. As we all can see now after more than a year under Clinton leadership in Haiti's reconstruction: Haitians have no voice and funds have been wasted with [...]

      Read the full comment nothing on the ground to see for the millions that have already been spent. Let haiti be free.

    • Anonymous
      1 Rating:
      #7 18, 34, Sun, Mar 14 2010

      Tents in Hati are being flooded from the rains. We had the same problem living in squad tents on our Machanata AirBase on Okinawa in WW II. We solved it with simple wooden floors made by 2x6s and planking. This is a quick fix with a ship load of Alabama lumber that can be shipped from Mobile. No outside labor is needed. Just give them the lumber, hammers, nails and saws and they will do it. The lumber can be reused later as improved housing is made available.

    • Anonymous neutral
      #6 00, 01, Sat, Feb 06 2010

      I Agree with everyone the haitian government should not be in any way, shape or form in charge of rebuilding Haiti. the children of Haiti deservce a brighter, better future and if we let Preval and the rest of them get a hold of all the money raised to help rebuild this country the kids will never live to see it while they are the most vulnerable.

    • AnonymousDeborah DruceFri, Feb 05 2010

      This comment has been removed by the moderator because it contained

      AnonymousNadineFri, Feb 05 2010

      This comment has been removed by the moderator because it contained

    • Anonymous neutral
      #3 21, 50, Thu, Feb 04 2010

      Please, nothing in life is guarantee, can we assure and make sure the Haitians government do not have, repeat, do not have anything to do what so ever by rebuilding Haiti, president Clinton is going to Hati on Friday, should Hire independants personal or contrators to over see every single project from begining to end.

    • Anonymous
      CeeCee Rating:
      #2 19, 55, Thu, Feb 04 2010

      Yes.that is an excellent idea for the RHIA
      Haiti governements over the years had been disloyal and neglectful
      to it people needs.There are many intelligent people in Haiti who are unable to do and also say anything just in case they are targeted by the Government.
      what a shame for this disaster to happened in order for the world to see the desperate conditions of these poor people while government ministers live lavish lifestyles.
      God surely had a hand in this one.

    • Anonymous
      Richard Maurice Rating:
      #1 17, 31, Thu, Feb 04 2010

      The entire government should step aside and let US/UN effort to rebuild Haiti. My suggestion is for UN to establish an organization called RHIA(Rebuild Haiti internation administration.located outside of the HAITI to oversee the reconstruction and manage the fund properly.

    To post comments, please, Login or Register.
    Please read the The Sofia Echo forum comments policy.