WASHINGTON, April 25, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — The Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR) Consultative Group (CG) has invited Haiti to become a Developing Country member delegate of this prestigious organization, making Haiti the first nation in the history of GFDRR to be invited into membership for a second term.
Thierry Mayard-Paul, Haiti’s Chief of Staff and Minister of the Interior, Territorial Collectivities and National Defense, who led the Haitian delegation and served as its chief representative at this year’s GFDRR meeting, said, “this honor underscores the importance of the Martelly administration’s work in Disaster Reduction and Recovery Management (DRRM) throughout the country, in partnership with international organizations like the World Bank, the UNDP, USAID, SOUTHCOM and others.”
Mayard-Paul presented his government’s approach to Disaster Risk Management and shared Haiti’s proprietary, community development decentralization initiative, Katye Pam Poze (KPP), to a cadre of top-level experts from 38 nations.
Disaster risk reduction and management are intrinsically “embedded” within KPP, the cornerstone program for the Haitian government’s National Decentralization Agenda. In this way, capacity is built at the community level across the country, under an innovative “bottom up” or grassroots approach, but in complete alignment with the national strategy.
Haiti’s innovative approach to community-based decentralization, as well as its commitment to institute Disaster Risk and Recovery Management across all government entities, was well-received by GFDRR members and meeting participants. Zoubida Allaoua, GFDRR’s Chair and the World Bank’s Director of Finance, Economics & Urban Department, encouraged the development of innovative initiatives such as Haiti’s KPP, stating, “We should not use yesterday’s solutions to confront today’s problems. The GFDRR will work in partnership with the government of Haiti in its Disaster Risk Management efforts, so that they become a showcase project for other nations.”
As incoming GFDRR member, Haiti will have more direct access to the GFDRR and the World Bank, key partners in the development of a comprehensive DRRM program for Haiti. Recently, the World Bank committed US$ 60 million to fund a four-year Reconstruction and Disaster & Risk Management Program that will support decision-making and capacity building, the construction of an emergency telecommunications system, as well as road infrastructure and safety.
The minister stressed that the Government of Haiti seeks to make risk reduction an essential part of its reconstruction and recovery efforts, while developing strategies and a policy framework for long term disaster risk reduction and management into the new national development plan.
Other counties welcomed as new GFDRR members during the spring sessions were Solomon Islands and Togo. Each country will occupy a chair for two years. The three current developing country members, with one year remaining to serve, are Malawi, Bangladesh and Yemen.
“The GFDRR meetings were extremely helpful as they allowed us the opportunity to share –and learn– from other countries’ experience in this crucial area of disaster and risk reduction and management,” added Mayard-Paul. “With our designation as Developing Country members, we are looking forward to even greater exposure to best practices, as well as opportunities for support and collaboration from the GFDRR’s membership.”