Media Center

Press Release


  September 24, 2004

Haiti has received a contribution from the Organization of American States’ (OAS) Inter-American Emergency Assistance Fund, to assist with relief and response efforts in the aftermath of the substantial loss of life and destruction as a result of Hurricane Jeanne that left an estimated 1,100 persons dead and over 1,000 still missing.

Secretary General Miguel Ángel Rodríguez presented the $25,000 donation during a brief ceremony yesterday, following the OAS Permanent Council’s Special Session in honour of his assumption as Secretary General. The Provisional President of Haiti, Boniface Aléxandre attended the Special Session.

In brief comments, Secretary General Rodríguez indicated that although the OAS contribution is small, it is being given with the Organization’s utmost concern for the people of Haiti. He also renewed the Organization’s commitment to assist the government and people of Haiti as that nation faces this tragic episode.

Assistant Secretary General Luigi R. Einaudi underscored the importance of OAS involvement in helping Haiti deal with this extensive disaster, and the Pan American Development Foundation’s (PADF) Executive Director John Sanbrailo spoke about the Foundation’s commitment to Haiti. Mr. Sanbrailo presented a monetary contribution which, he indicated, represents the first contribution provided by Citigroup, noting as well that the PADF had already dispatched emergency relief packages to the stricken Caribbean nation.

In thanking the OAS for the symbolic gesture, the Haitian Provisional President said he was personally touched by the response to the hurricane-triggered devastation which, he says, shows that Haiti is not isolated. He said the assistance from the OAS and PADF touched the hearts of all Haitians as well.

While he could not accept a direct financial contribution on behalf of the government of Haiti, President Aléxandre asked that the assistance be channeled through the Haitian Red Cross and other appropriate non-governmental organizations that are directly engaged in delivering aid to the victims.

Reference: E-159/04