Sustained support for Haiti and Panama is needed, UN relief chief said
Mark Lowcock, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, concluded his first official mission to the Caribbean country and Panama.
He commented about the three-day visit to the areas of the country:
“It was important for me to undertake this mission now – at the start of the hurricane season – to see for myself the Government-led and regional efforts to prepare for natural disaster. I was briefed on the ongoing preparedness efforts, which need sustained support.”
Mr. Lowcock visited a centre in the northeast, at the border with the Dominican Republic. Most returnees and deportees receive assistance and protection services in the centre.
Mr. Lowcock said:
“Too many Haitians have suffered terribly from acts of nature in this decade. After an earthquake, hurricanes, floods and recurring drought, Haitians’ remarkable resilience has been proven.
Mr. Lowcock also focused on the future disaster resilience of Haiti. He continued:
“It is no surprise that after these successive blows and despite joint efforts of the Government and the international community, a very sizable number of Haitians still require assistance – not only to obtain life’s necessities, but also to build livelihoods and become more resilient to future threats.”
In the Haitian capital, Port-au-Prince, Mr. Lowcock held talks with the officials. He reaffirmed the UN’s support for the Government’s disaster preparedness efforts and lauded the Government’s commitment to fulfilling the most vulnerable citizens’ needs such as people who experience hunger.
He also emphasised the UN’s commitment to devote efforts in eradicating cholera.
However, he mentioned that more international assistance is needed. Only 9% of the humanitarian response has been funded this year. Mr. Lowcock said:
“More money is needed for life-saving assistance and protection for more than two million Haitians this year.”
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Image credit: UN