OAS re-commits to Haiti on quake anniversary

The Washington, D.C.-based Organization of American States (OAS) has reiterated its commitment to the government and people of Haiti on the fifth anniversary on Monday of the devastating earthquake.

“Our sincere thoughts go out to the 230,000 victims, their families and friends and all those who were injured or left homeless,” said Secretary General José Miguel Insulza.

“The commemoration of this sad anniversary is an opportunity to honor the courage and perseverance of the Haitian people, as well as the efforts of their government to improve the living conditions of the population,” he added.

Assistant Secretary General Albert Ramdin, chairman of the Group of Friends of Haiti, recalled that, since 2010, 94 percent of the households displaced as a result of the earthquake have been relocated.

He noted that “the removal of debris has given way to reconstruction, improvement of infrastructure, economic growth and the creation of jobs.

“More children now attend school than before and health indicators are improving,” Ramdin said. “The hard work that has been done in recent years has produced concrete results, which should be celebrated, while, at the same time, we must not lose sight of all that remains to be done in unity.”

Insulza said that “for the benefit of the population, it is imperative that all the actors of the Haitian nation unite in their efforts to make the agreements necessary to preserve the achievements that have been made and to ensure sustainable development in Haiti.”

He added that “this is all the more urgent as the deadline for resolving the political crisis afflicting the countrys democratic institutions approaches.”

In this regard, Insulza said the OAS applauds the intensive efforts from President Michel Martelly and the Parliament over the past weeks to agree on a way forward.

He, however, urged all political actors to “work together to create the necessary conditions for the holding of free and transparent elections in 2015 that are essential to the preservation of the democratic gains that have been made and the political stability of the country.

“The best way to honor the thousands of victims of this catastrophe is to overcome the political and other forms of difficulties with courage and in unity, in order to continue without delay the work needed to allow Haiti and its people to reach their full potential,” the OAS Secretary General said.

More from Around NYC