Damage to the Country’s Political and Economic Infrastructure Enormous, Yet Haiti Can Rise Again from the Rubble
Statement of Haitian-Americans United for Progress, reprinted with permission from www.haupinc.org
New York, January 14, 2009 – Haiti suffered a major blow when a magnitude 7.0 earthquake struck Port-au-Prince, the capital city and several other cities to south and west late Tuesday afternoon. The death toll is not yet known but the images coming out of Haiti foretell of the need for reconstruction efforts that will test the will and generosity of people the world over.
HAUP has taken several steps to respond to the immediate emergency. The non-profit organization has joined forces with New York City and New York State elected officials to build support for the relief efforts. We are urging all people of good will to provide monetary support to charities that have proven themselves in Haiti emergency responses in the past as well as in other similar emergencies. These charities include the International Red Cross and World Relief. We do not and will not collect food, clothing and other similar donations. Monetary donations are the only donations that we will allow at this point in time.
Moreover, we are very much aware that beyond the immediate emergency the rebuilding efforts will take time and will require of Haitian-Americans and of friends of Haiti a sustained commitment. Such commitments can and should take the form of volunteering time and expertise as well as providing monetary support. HAUP will plan for such efforts and urges all people of good will, and in particular Haitian-Americans to commit to such efforts.
Through years of facing natural and man-made calamity, Haitians have shown a remarkable resilience. We expect that this time will not be different. Though the loss of lives may be much greater and the emotional and physical aftershocks live with them for quite a long time, we believe that a renewed and stronger Haiti can and will emerge in the not-too-distant future. Key to Haiti’s revival however will be the support of individuals and groups to these efforts.
HAUP will take steps to take part in the rebuilding effort, including managing, training and deploying volunteers, offering tangible assistance and working with lawmakers and policymakers stateside to ensure that these efforts are a success. We look forward to working with the leaders of the NY City Council and the NY State Legislature, with Mayor Michael Bloomberg and with the Obama Administration to make the dream of building Haiti back better a reality.