President Martelly lauds Guyana’s firm support to rebuilding efforts in Haiti – as agriculture MOU is signed

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President Martelly lauds Guyana’s firm support to rebuilding efforts in Haiti – as agriculture MOU is signed

Georgetown, GINA, March 21, 2013

Rebuilding efforts from the devastating 2010 earthquake in Haiti are moving apace with commendable levels of support shown by the Guyana Government in the process, the island’s President and incumbent Chairman of Caricom Michel Martelly said today.

After meeting President Donald Ramotar and his Cabinet on the second and final day of his visit to Guyana, President Martelly used the occasion to extend gratitude to the Government and people of the country, for the “will to help and better the lives of the Haitian people”.

Guyana from the inception had promised to do more than lip service to the Haitian people as efforts got underway to rebuild Haiti, by facilitating the island’s private sector to participate meaningfully and effectively in its rebuilding and development process.

One intervention was the waiver of visa requirements for Haitian business persons desirous of travelling to other CARICOM Member States and who are in possession of valid United States of America, Canadian or Schengen visas.

In another show of commitment Guyana and Haiti signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the Utilisation of the Haitian National Traceability System in Guyana. Signing on behalf of Haiti was the country’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Pierre Richard Casimir and Minister of Foreign Affairs Carolyn Rodrigues-Birkett on behalf of Guyana.

The system articulated by President Martelly when Caricom leaders had met on the island last month for the historic intersessional meeting, to allow Guyana’s agricultural sector to trace produce to its origin, guarantees the quality and standard of agricultural produce for export by generating bar codes, defined benchmarks for processing and packaging of agricultural products, as well as assist in the reliable national mapping on the production potential and the results of the harvest.

From the beginning, Guyana had committed full support to the initiative that Caricom leaders were assured would improve the region’s capacity to cope with the challenges posed by the international export market.

President Martelly described it as “a new way of doing things”, where the people of both countries can benefit, but most importantly as it continues the journey to rebuild the country’s economy and in so doing create jobs for the population.

Since taking office, President Martelly said four-fifths of 1,400,000 people that were living under tents have been removed with 300,000 to be attended.

The intervention saw homes that withstood the earthquake repaired and rented for one year at a cost covered by the government, giving ample time for the occupants to manage their affairs.

Part of the rebuilding process included changing the image of Haiti throughout the world which President Martelly said has been accomplished.

“The Haiti that was always in hiding, silent or talking about misery… no longer exists. It is a Haiti that wants to present its opportunities also to the world, do business… also show what we consider as wealth so people can see us different,” President Martelly said.

The island’s Capital, Port-au-Prince, was hit by a 7.0 magnitude earthquake on January 12, 2010. Immediately after, a national disaster relief effort overseen by a multi-stakeholder committee got underway in Guyana.