PORT AU PRINCE, Haiti, April 14, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — The Minister of the Interior, Thierry Mayard-Paul is traveling to the United States today as head of a delegation that will participate in the 12th Consultative Group (CG) meeting of the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR) next week. The meeting serves as a focal point for the World Bank’s efforts to mitigate and minimize disasters, such as the January 2010 earthquake that devastated our country.
Mr. Mayard-Paul will officially represent the Government of Haiti, addressing the CG regarding the disaster risk management challenges Haiti is facing. In doing so, he will outline the steps Haiti is taking now to strengthen the nation’s disaster response and recovery. The invitation to speak before other world leaders at this prestigious global meeting underscores the effectiveness of the disaster mitigation programs now underway in Haiti and indicates the efforts our government is doing can serve as a model for other developing countries to replicate.
The Minister, who has worked tirelessly in his effort to build a stronger civil defense network throughout the country, will update meeting delegates on where Haiti is heading through the vision and strategy of President Martelly’s administration. This includes the administration’s decentralization strategy and its plans for building infrastructure and institutional capacity nationwide. The strategic platform is based on establishing a network of community safety across Haiti as reflected in Katye Pam Poze which Mr. Mayard-Paul is implementing. This initiative forms the cornerstone of President Martelly’s National Decentralization Agenda and the minister is actively hosting dialogues across Haiti to determine the most pressing needs of local communities.
According to Minister Mayard-Paul, Katye Pam Poze has as its core, a plan to mobilize local governments for disaster risk prevention and emergency response. Building a more resilient Haiti is a top priority for the Minister and the Martelly administration. “The steps we are taking in Haiti are aligned with the vision of the United Nation’s Development Program which states that in a national emergency, the priority in the first few hours is to make sure that people get immediate help from within their own communities,” said Mr. Mayard-Paul. “Knowing who is injured, where people are, making sure that there is an organized plan to identify people’s location is critical during the first few hours of an emergency. Haiti will have well prepared communities. Everyone will know how to react and lives will be saved.”
The minister also reiterated the importance of the precedent-setting “seismic risk reduction plan for northern Haiti”, a flagship project for UNDP and its national partners. “This is one of the first times a developing country has taken advance measures to reduce the vulnerability of the population and its economy to future earthquakes,” said the minister. “We can take pride in establishing this model, and setting an example for the world.”
GFDRR, (www.gfdrr.org/gfdrr/12CG) is Co-Chaired by the World Bank and the Government of the Netherlands