WASHINGTON, D.C.: Three years after the January 12, 2010 earthquake that killed hundreds of thousands of people in Haiti, Organization of American States (OAS) Assistant Secretary General, Albert Ramdin, says the commitment by the international community to rebuild the Caribbean nation should not wane.
Speaking at an event organized by the Pan American Development Foundation (PADF) and the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington D.C. last week, Ramdin joined experts from the Wilson Center and Habitat for Humanity, Haitian ambassadors Paul Altidor and Duly Brutus, and United States Department of State special coordinator for Haiti, Thomas Adams, to discuss the topic: “What it takes to build back better in Haiti.”
Ramdin said Haiti remains high on the agenda of the OAS, which continues to mobilize support for the country from across the Americas. While commitment from the international community has been unprecedented, Ramdin acknowledged that “there is a limited window of opportunity for Haiti to experience this level of commitment”.
“I would hope that international commitment would not wane, but the reality is that global and domestic pressures have caused priorities to be reassessed for many countries,” said Ramdin. “A foundation has been laid in Haiti and the government is working to ensure this foundation is built upon. Political stability, economic stimulation, education and employment remain priorities which we share.”
Ramdin said Haiti is in a position to focus simultaneously on regional and domestic issues now that it will be chairing the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) for the next six months.
“Three years after the earthquake, we all must reassess what we have learned, what we have achieved, and how we should adjust our approach,” he said. “Our commitment to Haiti should not wane. Haiti’s progress is an indicator of our region’s success or failure.”