|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
Haiti Remains ‘Extremely Vulnerable on Many Fronts’, Secretary-General
Stresses in Message Commemorating 2010 Earthquake
Following is UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s message for the staff commemoration of the fourth anniversary of the earthquake in Haiti, delivered by Sandra Honoré, Special Representative of the Secretary-General, in Port-au-Prince today:
Today, for the fourth consecutive year, the UN family comes together to remember and honour the victims of the earthquake that struck Haiti on the afternoon of 12 January 2010. I join you in grief and solidarity — with the people of Haiti, with one another, with all who lost their loved ones on that tragic day. I will never forget my own visit shortly after the disaster. The personal stories of heroism, courage and dedication that I saw and heard moved me deeply and showed the United Nations at its best.
I pay tribute to all UN colleagues who have strived through the years to keep alive the memory of our fallen colleagues and friends and serve the people of Haiti. This includes those who remained after the earthquake to deliver life-saving support and consolation to the other victims. It also includes those who arrived later to carry on the worthy cause of helping Haiti rebuild its future.
Your commitment, combined with the resilience of the Haitian people, has made much progress possible. Health systems are being strengthened, more children are in school, close to 90 per cent of the displaced population have left the camps and economic activities have resumed, allowing Haiti to start moving from crisis to long-term development.
At the same time, Haiti remains extremely vulnerable on many fronts. One hundred and forty-five thousand people continue to live in makeshift camps. The country is structurally exposed to recurrent food crises. Haiti has the lowest level of water and sanitation coverage in the Americas.
I continue to call on the international community to stand with Haiti at its time of dire need. We must intensify our efforts to help Haiti build a more stable and prosperous future for the all its people. Let us renew today our pledge to follow our fallen colleagues’ dream of a life of dignity for all the people of Haiti.
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