Patterson calls for support for Haiti

Former Jamaica Prime Minister and CARICOM’s Special Representative on Haiti’s Reconstruction, PJ Patterson has said that Haiti deserves unprecedented levels of support from the international community.

Speaking at the 12th Annual Eric Williams Memorial Lecture Series at Florida International University (FIU) Miami recently, Patterson said, however, that the recovery process must be driven by Haiti.

He was speaking to a large number of students, academia, corporate leaders, and members of the Caribbean Diplomatic Corp at the lecture series themed “The Renaissance of Haiti: A Template for Caribbean Integration.”

Outlining the four-step action plan for Haiti’s national recovery, Patterson pointed out that the framework was prepared with the assistance of technical experts and was formally adopted by the international community. He noted that the plan has four priority areas – territorial, economic, social and institutional rebuilding – which, he said, must lead the way to redevelopment for both government and people of Haiti.

Referring to the earthquake last January, Patterson reminded his audience that, geographically, the region shares a common vulnerability to the ravages of nature. He called for greater unity and strength unity and strength within CARICOM “as we bring Haiti out of that state of international isolation.”

He asserted that the people of Haiti should chart their own destiny. The former prime minister also encouraged mobilization of the Caribbean Diaspora in the recovery effort, noting that rebuilding Haiti has created opportunities for a range of professional, technical and consultancy services, pooling of resources and an “enviable” opportunity to participate in the rebuilding process.

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