Press statement

On February 13, an inter-disciplinary group called “Haiti Initiative 2010,” comprising leading Canadian universities, professional associations, and research institutions, as well as Non-Governmental Organizations came together to discuss ways to work closely with Haitian groups in the long-term rebuilding of Haiti.

A broad, yet strategic, framework was put forward to look at the different levels and specific communities of expertise that will be required, including:

Food security
Economic empowerment
Employment and education
Environment and regional stewardship
Infrastructure
Urban and architectural design
Heritage and culture
Local governance
Public health
Finance

We emphasize  the involvement of the “beneficiaries” at the highest level of participation in decision making to facilitate mutual gain via information, technology transfer, training and long-term community devlopment. Our approach does not separate the interventions in three phases: urgency, temporary solutions and long term solutions.  In other words, we develop a strategy that, at the organizational level seeks a coherent and evolutive development, and at the technical level seeks to blend external and local resources.

This coalition established a working group that will be hosted at the Université de Montréal.  It is the interdisciplinary nature of this team that makes it an important contribution to reconstruction efforts, since it synthesizes  knowledge and experience, which are often lacking in other organizations who rush into the task of reconstruction ill prepared.

For further information about the Haiti Initiative 2010 and its initiatives, please contact Gonzalo Lizaralde at gonzalo.lizarralde@umontreal.ca

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