PORT AU PRINCE, HAITI - The Government of Haiti and the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) agreed to strengthen Haiti's institutional capacity by harnessing the full support from the Caribbean Community, the Diaspora and the Private Sector.
The agreement was reached in consultation with the President of Haiti, H.E. Rene Preval, Prime Minister Jean-Max Belleriveand the CARICOM Special Representative, P.J. Patterson. Mr. Patterson traveled to Port-au-Prince earlier this month.
The commitments and proposals made by both parties were formalized in an aide-memoire over the signatures of Prime Minister Bellerive and Mr. Patterson.
The consultation reviewed the implementation of the Plan for National Recovery and determined that CARICOM's support could greatly –and quickly-- enhance the operations of state institutions. It is worth noting that Haiti lost thousands of government workers as its administrative buildings, parliament, courts and the Presidential Palace collapsed during last January's devastating earthquake.
As part of the agreement, CARICOM will provide qualified and experienced public service personnel to support Haiti in undertaking its priority agenda. This support will include technical expertise in public administration, the judiciary, and security according to the pillars mentioned in the action plan.
"The government of Haiti is working diligently and tirelessly to advance reconstruction and recovery efforts on all fronts, as quickly as possible," said Prime Minister Jean Max Bellerive. "CARICOM's generous contribution will focus on institutional rebuilding, which aims at redefining our legal and regulatory framework to better adapt it to our requirements and manage reconstruction in ways consistent with international standards for democratic and constitutionally-based societies." During the discussions, Mr. Patterson asserted how the institutional capacity of Haiti would be buttressed by the availability of CARICOM expertise and proposed how the requisite resources could be mobilized and quickly made available.
Both parties committed to mobilizing the Caribbean and Haitian Diaspora in providing some of the required technical skills and investment activities. In addition, it was agreed that CARICOM's efforts would complement those of the Interim Haiti Recovery Commission and the international community that are focused on debris removal and the relocation of those displaced by the earthquake.
Acknowledging the urgent need for implementing the strategies as agreed, the Parties scheduled a broad-based project-planning meeting in Kingston, January 5-7, 2011. At that meeting, proposals will be developed for submission to the Interim Haiti Recovery Commission (IHRC). Other arrangements will be finalized to strengthen national institutions with assistance from its CARICOM partners and the wider international community. Representatives of the Secretariat and the Caribbean Development Bank will be in attendance.
The meeting acknowledged the need for improved information flow and agreed to developing and implementing a public information strategy to keep the Haitian people and citizenry fully informed.
The aide-memoire acknowledged the value of engaging the Haitian/CARICOM private sector in the process of recovery and economic development.
The Government of Haiti committed its fullest participation in advancing the development of the Haiti Special Fund in order to facilitate the work of the Private Sector.