Africa's response to Haiti tragedy gladdens Ban's heart

Addis Ababa- Ethiopia (PANA) -- UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon has welcomed a proposal by African leaders to help resettle some Haitians who were displaced by a devastating earthquake that hit their country about three weeks ago.
"I am grateful for such a swift support from Africa, including some resettleme nt, that is welcome and very generous," the UN Secretary-General said, after at tending the African Union Summit Sunday.
Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade first offered free land to Haitians, an offe r he reiterated after a meeting in Addis Ababa, on the fringe of then AU Summit in the Ethiopian capital, Sunday.
Speaking at the opening of the Summit, African Union Commission Chairperson Jean Ping also appealed for support for Haiti by African states "We wish for the mobilization of the international community to come to the as sistance of Haiti.
What happened in Haiti knows no borders and goes beyond borde rs," Ping pleaded.
He said Haiti, established in 1904, was the first black Republic, and that most of its citizens were from Africa.
"How can we not be moved? Haiti is a survivor, their churches are broken, their hearts are broken," Ping said.
The African Union has set up an account with the African Development Bank and ur ged all its 53 member states to make contributions to help the cause of Haiti.
Several African countries, including Malawi and the Democratic Republic of Congo , have established funds to help the Caribbean island nation cope with the effec ts of the earthquake that especially devastated the capital city, Port au Prince.
The UN has also announced that it is moving from emergency humanitarian recovery to short and long-term reconstruction of the country.
"The enormity of the destruction is beyond description.
The UN is coordinating the delivery of foodâ¦we will see how international donors can help to support Haiti," Ban said.

01 february 2010 09:19:00




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