On the occasion of the third anniversary of the Haiti earthquake, the
Pan American Development Foundation (PADF) and the Woodrow Wilson
International Center for Scholars today hosted an event to address
current rebuilding efforts and discuss the challenges and opportunities
that lie ahead.
Entitled "Recovery, Reconstruction and Renewal: What It Takes to
Build Back Better in Haiti," the discussion included interventions
from key partners and stakeholders from Haiti, the United States, the
international community and non-governmental organizations who have been
involved in the reconstruction efforts in Haiti. Key speakers included
Ambassador Paul G. Altidor, Ambassador of the Republic of Haiti to the
United States; Ambassador Thomas Adams, Special Coordinator for Haiti,
U.S. Department of State; and Ambassador Albert Ramdin, Assistant
Secretary General of the Organization of American States.
Experts from PADF, the Woodrow Wilson Center, and Habitat for Humanity
also discussed comprehensive strategies for urban development that take
into account brick and mortar reconstruction along with job creation,
security, access to land, and the delivery of basic services such as
health and water and sanitation. Panelists offered regional and U.S.
perspectives as well as a view from the ground to reflect upon what it
takes to "build back better" in Haiti.
"We will honor those who lost their lives by building a better,
stronger, more stable Haiti," said Ambassador Paul G. Altidor, Haiti's
Ambassador to the U.S. "As we rebuild and rebound, the challenge is now
to not only reconstruct what was lost during the earthquake, but to
address the deficits that existed prior to that fateful day in January
three years ago."
"The Government of Haiti is working tirelessly. Our goal is to ensure
that we are not placing a bandage on problems exacerbated by the
earthquake by offering temporary solutions. Instead we are committed to
providing sustainable solutions to the housing and other crises that
lng preceded the earthquake and to address the challenge of spurring a
vibrant economy and job growth."
Since the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, which left more than 300,000 dead,
destroyed and damaged thousands of houses and buildings, and displaced
more than 1.5 million people, PADF has focused on a large portfolio of
activities. These efforts have included repairing homes, restoring jobs,
and revitalizing neighborhoods. Some of the major recovery and
reconstruction efforts include:
"While the challenges still facing Haiti are significant, they must not
be allowed to dwarf the enormous strides that have been taken by
individuals and communities to restore and rebuild their lives. I am
heartened and encouraged by the resilience of the people with whom PADF
is working and hopeful for Haiti's future," said Dr. Judith Hermanson,
Deputy Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer of the Pan
American Development Foundation.
Follow PADF on Twitter
at @PADFORG and Facebook
to get updates on the latest information.
PADF is the non-profit foundation of the Organization of American
States, established in 1962 to implement integral socio-economic
development programs for disadvantaged people, to strengthen civil
society and community groups in support of the Inter-American Democratic
Charter, and to aid victims of natural disasters and humanitarian
crises. In 2012, it helped more than 9 million beneficiaries in 29
countries. Headquartered in Washington DC, PADF has field offices in
Haiti, Colombia and other countries. www.padf.org
About the Wilson Center
The Wilson Center provides a strictly nonpartisan space for the worlds
of policymaking and scholarship to interact. By conducting relevant and
timely research and promoting dialogue from all perspectives, it works
to address the critical current and emerging challenges confronting the
United States and the world. www.wilsoncenter.org
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