Monday, June 14, 2010

World Summit Regarding Ayiti’s Future Held in the Dominican Republic

In early June, the most recent World Summit was held in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic to discuss Ayiti’s future given the catastrophic devastation caused by the 7.0 earthquake that hit the island-nation on January 12th. Dominican Republic President Leonel Fernandez Reyna's welcoming remarks at the Summit began with "in only 30 seconds, more than 300,000 people were injured; in just 30 seconds, more than one million people lost their homes; in just 30 seconds, Ayiti lost 120 percent of its GDP; in just 30 seconds thousands of children were made orphans, thousands lost their most close relatives, and thousands were left in anguish."

The theme of the World Summit was Solidarity Beyond the Crisis, and was hosted by Dominican Republic President Leonel Fernandez, in collaboration with Ayiti President Rene Preval, and Ayiti Prime Minister, Jean-Max Bellerive. Ayiti President Rene Preval stated that "Ayiti was already facing a very difficult situation before the earthquake. We shouldn't only heal the wounds caused by this earthquake. We must develop the economy, we must develop the agriculture, we must develop the education and health, create jobs and strengthen democratic institutions." To a large extent, the World Summit was successful in securing a sustainable commitment for Ayiti’s long-term recovery. The World Summit on Ayiti focused on four specific development central themes: (1) economic re-foundation, (2) territorial re-foundation, (3) social re-foundation; and (4) cultural and artistic recovery.

In late March, the United Nations hosted the International Donors Conference on Ayiti. The International Donors Conference garnered pledges of $5.3 billion for the next two years and $9.9b for the next three years and beyond. The World Summit on Ayiti sought to solidify those commitments and to create permanent ties of solidarity between the international community and Ayiti. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton stated that "we have more than one million people that are currently living in very precarious conditions, in camping tents." Secretary Clinton is part of the United Nation's Special Envoy to Ayiti. Secretary Clinton continued that "we cannot allow for people to die during this Hurricane Season because they inhabit temporary dwellings." It is estimated that more than 1.3 million people were left homeless amid predictions of a very intense hurricane season. Much of Ayiti's fragile infrastructure was destroyed by the earthquake, which left more than 200,000 people dead, and 300,000 people injured including two thousands amputees.

The Summit also sought to spearhead the beginning of Ayiti’s reconstruction work. The commitments of donor countries and organizations were reviewed, and a list of the projects containing the priority activities, and detailed progress reports were analyzed to effectively manage the reconstruction process. The priority activities identified in the action plan, which require almost immediate attention, and financial support focused on development of critical infrastructure including highways, potable water systems, electricity, housing, schools and universities. By the conclusion of the World Summit, the international community and multilateral organizations agreed to provide Ayiti with more than US $15 billion in aid during the next decade.

The World Summit included participants from Heads of State and Government, as well as representatives of multilateral organizations to evaluate the aid to Ayiti and arrange for the disbursement of economic resources for Ayiti’s recovery. In particular, former Jamaica Prime Minister, P.J. Patterson, Special Representative of the CARICOM Heads of Government to Ayiti, and Ambassador Colin Granderson, Assistant Secretary-General, Foreign and Community Relations, represented the Caribbean Community at the forum.

Lydie Nadia Cabrera Pierre-Louis


  1. 8. This earthquake has left millions homeless without food, shelter or water. This issue must be addressed at both the national and international playing field. The Summit Recovery and Development of Haiti consist of rebuilding an infrastructure for highways, portable water systems, electricity, housing, and schools. This earthquake has caused over a million people to be displaced; currently living in slums and shelters. Humanitarian principles must be enforced to protect these displaced persons and alleviate suffering caused by this disastrous earthquake. One important attribute to the rebuilding of Hati is to focus on long-term goals of rebuilding the economy. According to a CNN investigation that nearly 6 months after the earthquake many countries promising to pay and help rebuild have not delivered any funds. This is a tragic and horrible disaster that occurred and must be addressed without delay in implanting funds irrespective of our financial crises.

  2. LaureenG (FIU)

    I was not aware that the international community had launched a program to assist the victims. It is good to know and hopefully all of the donor countries will honor their ocmmitments. We are our brother's keeper and I'm glad, in this case, we are living up to our responsibilities.