India asks Haiti politicos to exercise restraint

Saturday, January 22, 2011

UNITED NATIONS - India has called upon all political actors in earthquake-hit Haiti to exercise restraint and avoid actions that cause violence and distract focus from the urgently needed reconstruction and rehabilitation work.

“We think that concerted reconstruction and rehabilitation work demands stable political and administrative conditions,” India’s permanent representative to UN Hardeep Singh Puri said at the UN Security Council briefing on Haiti Friday..

“The focus of the UN should, of course, remain on the humanitarian and infrastructural work,” he said asking it “not get too deeply involved in the domestic political process, which is better handled by the regional organizations in cooperation with the local political establishment”

“It has been a very difficult year for the people of Haiti,” Puri said noting, “Just as stability was beginning to be witnessed in the country and the indicators of economic development were showing an upward trend, the country was struck by a massive earthquake” Jan 12 last year. The disaster took the lives of some 300,000 persons and injured an equal number.

“Even as Haiti was battling to overcome the disaster of the earthquake, it was struck by an outbreak of the cholera, which further aggravated the already grim situation,” he said. “And, in the midst of all this, the country has got embroiled in a political crisis following the presidential elections.”

In the immediate aftermath of the earthquake, India made a cash contribution of $ 5 million to the Government of Haiti towards relief measures as a token of our solidarity with the people of Haiti, Puri said.

The envoy said India attaches importance to the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) which was put to good use in the earliest stages of recovery work in Haiti. India has made significant contributions since its inception and is contributing $ 500,000 each year over three year period since 2009.

Further, recognizing the need to provide basic amenities - shelter, drinking water and sanitation to the Haitian people, India have joined Brazil and South Africa in expanding the India-Brazil-South Africa Trust Fund’s waste management project in Haiti, both in its area of coverage and scope of handling different types of waste.

IBSA is spending over US$ 2 million in this effort and for reconstruction of a community health centre in Haiti, he said.

Filed under: Diplomacy

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