Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon speaks at the General Assembly's Emergency Session on Haiti. 
Photo: UN Photo/Paulo Filgueiras.Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon speaks at the General Assembly's Emergency Session on Haiti. Photo: UN Photo/Paulo Filgueiras

UN coordinates Haiti relief efforts

1/13/2010 // The UN General Assembly held an extra-ordinary session today to discuss the situation in Haiti following the devastating earthquake which struck near the capital Port-au-Prince on Tuesday. Millions of people in the Caribbean nation have been affected. The UN has so far allocated USD 10 million in aid from the UN Central Emergency Relief Fund (CERF), which Norway supports with substantial sums.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told the General Assembly that there is a desperate need for food, water, first aid, and shelter. Mr. Ban said there are currently 3000 UN personnel in or near Port-au-Prince who will take part in the search and rescue effort. He said 15 UN staff members are confirmed dead, but the number is likely to rise.

UN Special Envoy to Haiti Bill Clinton commended the UN’s efforts and called on all donors to support the UN’s coordinating role in order to avoid logistical chaos.

It’s important that organisations that operate in the immediate aftermath of a natural disaster can get to work right away. Norway contributes NOK 325 million (USD 58 million) to CERF in 2010 precisely to strengthen the UN’s ability to deal with natural disasters of this magnitude. A portion of Norway’s donations to CERF will now be used to alleviate the suffering of the Haitian people.

Norway’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs will continue to assess the need for additional Norwegian support for Haiti.


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