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Haiti Two Years Later

Measured Progress & Hope

January 12, 2012

Two years ago today, the world learned of the devastating effects of the 7.0 earthquake that hit Haiti, the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. The reaction from the international community, led by United Nations, was remarkable in its speed and ability to get critical services, financial support, and assistance to those in need. As the disaster relief turned into recovery, national Haitian institutions, the UN, other international NGOs, and the United States worked collectively to develop a plan for a more vibrant Haitian economy, and a representative political system that could lead the country forward.


 

Haiti-New.jpg-1.jpgTwo years ago today, the world learned of the devastating effects of the 7.0 earthquake that hit Haiti, the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. The reaction from the international community, led by United Nations, was remarkable in its speed and ability to get critical services, financial support, and assistance to those in need. As the disaster relief turned into recovery, national Haitian institutions, the UN, other international NGOs, and the United States worked collectively to develop a plan for a more vibrant Haitian economy, and a representative political system that could lead the country forward.

 

Despite the time that has passed and the waning media coverage of Haiti’s progress, efforts to raise awareness about Haiti’s plight continue. Last fall, UNA-USA and the UN Foundation honored the rock band Linkin Park with a Champion of Change award at our Leadership Dinner. Linkin Park used their celebrity status, their fan base, and Download to Donate for Haiti to propel attention toward the Haiti disaster efforts. Their song and video Not Alone, which features images from the disaster and the UN’s relief efforts, has been viewed by nearly 10 million people.

Over the last week, many journalists and commentators have looked at the current situation on the ground in Haiti. UNA-USA has added to this dialogue via our online magazine, The InterDependent. I encourage you to read our story on Haiti to learn more.

UNA-USA, its members, and the UN Foundation continue to support the Haiti efforts. To give you a sense of what confronted Haiti two years ago and what Haitians face today, I offer you two distinct perspectives. The first reflection is from Monika Johnson, UNA-USA’s Membership Support Associate. Monika went to Haiti just weeks after the earthquake to assist with the disaster response with All Hands Volunteers - read about her experience. The second perspective is from Robert Skinner, Senior Director of UN Relations and Special Initiatives for the UN Foundation. Robb has visited Haiti five times and returned from his most recent visit last week – read his thoughts on Haiti.

The overwhelming take-away is this: while many people have been assisted and started to move forward with their lives, great human suffering remains and we must not stray from the goal of helping the Haitians rebuild and revive their country.


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