PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, March 1, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — Minister of the Interior, Thierry Mayard-Paul said Haiti’s Civil Protection Agency, in collaboration with the United Nations Development Program, will accelerate the implementation of the Seismic Risk Plan (SRP) in Northern Haiti, which seeks to improve the way that this region prepares for and reduces risks of earthquakes. Haiti’s northeastern region is one the country’s key economic areas, in terms of manufacturing, tourism and agribusiness.
“We are committed to reducing vulnerability to natural disasters across the country and this program can be a pilot for the rest of the regions,” said Mayard-Paul. “We are grateful to the UNDP for its enduring commitment to our Civil Protection Agency (DPC) and to technology and knowledge-transfer, which will strengthen our own institutional capacity for the long term.”
“The Northern Seismic Reduction Plan focuses on reducing vulnerability to earthquake risk in the three Departments. Disaster preparedness efforts are an important part of this work and our objectives include helping the Departments and their populations to be better able to respond when the next earthquake hits,” explains Fenella Frost, head of UNDP’s Disaster Risk Reduction Unit. “We have set up a strong program team, based in the three departmental capitals of the North in close partnership with local government. Working with international expert groups, including the French Bureau of Mines and Geology, will also ensure that the ‘Grand Nord’ benefits and learns from the highest level technical expertise possible.”
The program, which is funded by the Haiti Reconstruction Fund, will be implemented hand-in-hand with regional delegates. This initiative encompasses four distinct phases: evaluating the region’s natural risks, putting a work plan together to reduce these risks, building institutional capacity through training, as well as establishing applicable public policies.
Mayard-Paul made the announcement during the commemoration of international World Day of Civil Protection, where he also launched the DPC’s annual program “Civil protection is everyone’s responsibility.” This initiative will conduct a widespread national first aid training program, complementing and bolstering the commendable efforts of the Haitian Red Cross, “which has been doing this for decades,” added Mayard-Paul.
First aid training will be provided to schoolchildren, workers, professionals, representatives of the informal sector, and the population-at large.
At the event, Mayard-Paul encouraged “all those involved in civil protection to incorporate this emergency response first-aid training, into their ongoing curricula, and the general population to take advantage of it.”