Representatives of countries from across the Americas, observer countries to the Organization of American States (OAS) and international institutions met in Washington, DC, this week at the meeting of the Group of Friends of Haiti, to reassess developments and needs in the CARICOM country.
The meeting, convened and chaired by OAS Assistant Secretary General Albert Ramdin, reviewed the progress made in several sectors, as well as the outstanding needs in specific areas.
According to Assistant Secretary General Ramdin, "There have been many positive developments ranging from the return of investment opportunities and the relocation of hundreds of thousands of people from tent cities, to the President's recent appointment of ten women to government portfolios. These are achievements which we must all recognize, even as we continue to work together to address the outstanding needs," he added.
Haiti's agricultural sector is one of the areas still in need of support following several natural disasters. Agricultural experts have indicated that there is still a pressing need for additional seedlings to regrow a range of crops. The Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) has been working with several countries and the OAS to address the needs, but according to IICA's David Hatch, certain seedlings are still needed, including those to grow bananas and other crops which can thrive in Haiti's environment.
Following interventions from the Dominican Republic, Venezuela, Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, the European Union, France and Spain, Haitian Ambassadors Duly Brutus and Bocchit Edmond thanked the international community and OAS Member States for their unwavering commitment to Haiti. "Countries represented here today have stood with us and have supported us in concrete ways. They have demonstrated friendship and we appreciate all their efforts," said Brutus.
Closing the meeting, the Chair of the Group of Friends reiterated his hope for continued growth in Haiti. "The President and his cabinet have been working with the international community to promote development in the country. At the same time we understand that domestic political stability is essential to continued growth. In this regard we are looking forward to all stakeholders working together to resolve outstanding issues, including the holding of senate elections," said Ramdin.
A gallery of photos of the event is available here.
For more information, please visit the OAS Website at www.oas.org.