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BigLogo.gif UN Member States on the Record
ECLAC proposes to increase cooperation efforts in Haiti
28 October 2008 / 02:10

[Dateline: Santiago  |  Author: ECLAC]

A member of the Jordanian contingent of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) distributes food to the children of the National School, during a civilian/military exercise | Credit: Marco Dormino/UN Photo (201300)In the wake of the severe hurricanes this season that have left parts of the country with serious infrastructure deficits, the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) has made a proposal to the Haitian government and the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) to expand its cooperation, with the goal of helping to bolster its infrastructure capacity.

On behalf of Alicia Bárcena, ECLAC's Executive Secretary, the Commission’s Secretary, Laura López, delivered a summary of work recently carried out by ECLAC’s team and a set of proposals for further cooperation in the country, during a recent trip to Port-au-Prince.

On Monday, 20 October, Ms. López traveled to Haiti to meet with the Special Representative of the Secretary-General to MINUSTAH, Mr. Hédi Annabi, and deliver a strategic note prepared by the ECLAC team working in Haiti, as well as a letter from ECLAC's Executive Secretary. She also met with the Haitian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Fritz Longchamp, to whom she also delivered the proposals outlined in the strategic note and a letter from Ms. Bárcena to the President of Haiti, René Préval.

ECLAC web site “I believe that ECLAC has a responsibility, along with the countries of the region, to share with you and your government, any knowledge or expertise that we have accumulated throughout the years, not only in dealing with natural disasters but also in building national capacities for the future,” wrote Ms. Bárcena to President Préval.

The strategic note summarizes the work of ECLAC members currently in Haiti participating with the World Bank, the European Commission and the United Nations system in the assessment of the economic costs of and effects of this season’s hurricanes, and outlines the areas in which the Commission could contribute to the UN Stabilization Mission with future projects.

“To deal with environmental degradation and the impact of natural disasters, research and analytical work is required to support the Government of Haiti in the areas of decision-making and the promotion of public policies to reduce glaring inequalities […] Countercyclical policies must be included in the framework of renewed cooperation, in which planning is a vital instrument for reversing environmental degradation, promoting land-use planning, tackling the growing poverty resulting from both internal and external vulnerability, and improving economic competitiveness in international markets,” says the strategic note.

ECLAC’s proposals to MINUSTAH and the Government of Haiti include the following:

  • Training courses for the public administration, provided by the Latin American and Caribbean Institute for Economic and Social Planning ( ILPES  ). 
     
  • Inclusion of Haiti in ECLAC studies on fiscal issues and equity, within the framework of projects being funded by the German Technical Cooperation Agency (GTZ).
     
  • Assistance to improve Haiti’s statistical records, particularly in the areas of food security, poverty and social protection.
     
  • Simulation exercises to measure the impact of external shocks on the Haitian economy.
     
  • Assistance in incorporating successful experiences in the region into domestic economic and social measures and policies. 

ECLAC has been participating for years in a cooperation programme with the Haitian government through joint activities with other financial and technical donors and with the support of the United Nations system. In October, the Commission organized two seminars in Haiti on food security and migration and remittances.