A- A A+

UN stands ready to support Haiti after quake on 6 October

In the wake of the 5.9 magnitude earthquake that struck north-west Haiti overnight, Secretary-General António Guterres on Sunday extended condolence to the island nations’ people and Government, and said the United Nations stands ready to help with the response.

“The Secretary-General is saddened to learn of the tragic loss of life and injuries caused by the earthquake in north-west Haiti on 6 October,” said a statement issued by Mr. Guterres’ spokesperson.

The quake, which, according to press reports, struck overnight Saturday near Port-de-Paix, off Haiti's northern coast, has left at least 11 people dead and more than 100 wounded.

Tremors were reportedly felt in the Haitian capital, Port-au-Prince, as well as in neighboring Dominican Republic and in eastern Cuba.

In today’s statement, the UN chief extended his condolences to the families of the victims and to the Government of Haiti.

“The United Nations stands ready to support the Government of Haiti in the response efforts,” the statement concluded.

This is the strongest earthquake to hit Haiti since 2010, when the tiny island nation was devastated by a 7.3 magnitude temblor, which affected some three million people overall.


 pie chart Addiitional informaton from Relief Web

- a service of UN Office for the Coordiantion of Humanitarian Assistance (OCHA)

image credit: Relief Web

  • A 5.9 magnitude (11 km depth) earthquake struck off the Northwestern coast of Haiti on 7 October at 00:11 UTC. The epicentre of the earthquake was located about 19 km Northwest of the city of Port-de-Paix. The earthquake was felt across the country. There was no tsunami warning in effect.
  • According to the Haitian Civil Protection Agency, 10 people have been killed and at least 135 people injured. The Agency also reports that some houses and buildings have been destroyed in Port-de-Paix, Gros Morne, Chansolme and Turtle Island.
  • Haiti’s Prime Minister informed that a crisis cabinet has been created to coordinate the emergency response to the earthquake.
  • DG ECHO’s Emergency Response Coordination Centre is closely monitoring the situation and liaising with DG ECHO offices in the region. A DG ECHO technical expert from the Haiti office is being deployed to the affected areas and a second technical expert form DG ECHO Bogota is ready to be deployed for further support.
Read more...

Haiti: UN agricultural development fund supports hurricane-affected farmers with $11 million

With many rural areas in Haiti still recovering from the devastation caused by Hurricane Matthew in 2016, the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) announced on Thursday that it is investing $10.8 million help restore agricultural productivity in some the worst affected areas of the island nation.

The funds will be distributed through the Agricultural and Agroforestry Technological Innovation Programme, known by its French acronym PITAG, extending its reach to eight additional municipalities in Haiti’s South Department, and spreading sustainable agricultural practices and technologies.

"Haiti's rural population suffers from a vicious circle of low agricultural productivity, high environmental degradation and poor nutrition,” said Lars Anwandter, who leads IFAD's programme in Haiti.

Weak agricultural practices in Haiti have been compounded by a series of natural disasters. The most recent, Hurricane Matthew, which struck the south-western part of the tiny island nation on 4 October 2016, left 2.1 million people severely affected, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

As of February 2018, some 622,100 are reportedly still in need of food security assistance.

While the situation in Haiti has improved since the hurricane hit, deep-seated vulnerabilities persist. Over the past few decades, Haiti has seen its soils, water reservoirs and woods severely degraded. World Bank data shows that 59 per cent of the total population lives below the poverty line and the figure rises to 75 per cent in rural areas.

Today, Haiti produces only 45 per cent of the food that Haitians need.

newsicon  read the full story on UN News


 Learn more about the UN in Haiti |  More stories on Haiti

Read more...

UN chief hopes Latin America and the Caribbean region will play a central role in ensuring “fair globalization”

Addressing a session of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), which opened in Cuba on Monday, Secretary-General António Guterres said the forum “is central to supporting the countries of the region in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.”

The meeting brings together representatives from ECLAC’s 46 member States and 13 associate members to debate the main challenges for implementing the 2030 Agenda in the region.

Mr. Guterres noted that globalization has brought many benefits, but it has left too many behind. 

Women are still far less likely to participate in the labour market – and the gender pay gap remains a global concern. Youth unemployment is alarmingly high in many countries across the world, he said.

The UN chief commended ECLAC for having been “a progressive and authoritative champion” for social justice in the global economy and “a pioneer” in integrating the economic, social and environmental development.

ECLAC has also “consistently and courageously put forward a development vision with equality as a driver of growth” he said, and focused on what he called the  “deeper meaning” of equality: looking beyond income as a measure of well-being and the main litmus test for development cooperation. 

 [ read the full story on UN News ]

Read more...

UN migration agency rolls out regional response to ongoing Venezuelans exodus

As the exodus has considerably increased over the last two years, an estimated 1.6 million Venezuelans were abroad in 2017, up from 700,000 in 2015, with 1.3 million in the Americas, according to the International Organization for Migration (IOM).

“The plan is tailored to specific national contexts across 17 countries including eight South American countries, six Caribbean countries, two Central American countries and Mexico,” explained Marcelo Pisani, IOM Regional Director for Central America, North America and the Caribbean.

The exodus is not letting up. For instance, more than 800 Venezuelans are estimated to be entering Brazil each day, bringing the total arrivals to more than 52,000 since the beginning of 2017, according to the host Government.

IOM’s regional plan seeks to strengthen the response to the needs and priorities expressed by concerned governments and focuses on such activities as data collection and dissemination, capacity building and coordination, direct support and socio-economic integration.

Diego Beltrand, IOM Regional Director for South America, encourages host countries to consider adopting measures, such as regularizing the stay of Venezuelans, and called for the international community to contribute to the regional plan, which requires $32.3 million to implement.

[ this story was originally posted on UN News ]

Infographics

venezuela infographic1      venezuelainfographic2

student read iconNearly 800 Venezuelans arriving in Brazil each day, many seeking asylum, UN refugee agency says

Read more...

UN eyes transition of Haiti role from peacekeeping to development

“While achieving results should remain our common priority, we have already started to prepare for a transition to a non-peacekeeping presence, based on lessons learned in Haiti and in other contexts,”

the Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, Jean-Pierre Lacroix, told the Security Council.

He said that in the coming months, his office will provide progress assessments to allow the 15-member body to take well-informed decisions for the drawdown and eventual withdrawal of the UN Mission for Justice Support in Haiti (MINUJUSTH).

Established in October last year, MINUJUSTH replaced UN Stabilization Mission, which operated in the tiny island nation for 13 years.

Much smaller than its predecessor, which had more than 4,000 military and police personnel, MINUJUSTH assists Haiti to further develop national police, strengthen rule of law institutions and promote and protect human rights.

While the Security Council is expected to renew MINUJUSTH, whose initial mandate expires on 15 April 2018, Mr. Lacroix said the UN is determined to ensure it be the last peacekeeping operation deployed to Haiti.

Last month, UN released a strategic assessment of MINUJUSTH, including 11 benchmarks for a smooth transition to a non-peacekeeping presence by the last quarter of 2019.

“Haiti has come a long way to achieve the relative political and security stability it is now enjoying, but persistent economic uncertainties, which can result in social exclusion, particularly of youth and the most vulnerable, may undermine this progress,” said Mr. Lacroix.

In mid March, he visited Haiti for the first time since taking office a year ago.

student read icon

 

read the full story on UN News

Read more...

High-level meeting will gather Caribbean leaders from different sectors to discuss the use of law to help reduce noncommunicable diseases

Port of Spain, March 9 (PAHO/WHO) — Government ministers from different sectors will meet with academicians, judges from the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), representatives of the CARICOM Secretariat, organs and institutions and civil society, on March 10 to discuss that the use of laws and regulations to help reduce noncommunicable diseases, which account for three out of four deaths in Caribbean.

Noncommunicable diseases (NCDs), including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, and chronic respiratory diseases, together with their four shared risk factors  tobacco use, harmful use of alcohol, unhealthy diet, and physical inactivity  are the leading causes of death, illness and disability in the Caribbean. High rates of NCDs are the reason that people in the Caribbean have a greater probability of dying prematurely (before age 70) than people from any other subregion of the Americas.

The meeting, which will take place in Port of Spain, will bring members of the CCJ Academy of Law together with representatives of relevant CARICOM organs and institutions, subregional partners, and international organizations to discuss policies and strategies for using the law as a powerful tool to address NCDs, focusing particularly on tobacco control legislation and laws and regulations that can help prevent obesity.

The meeting is organized by the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO), the Caribbean Court of Justice Academy of Law and FAO.

PAHO/WHO is encouraging Caribbean authorities to adopt effective laws and regulations that can contribute to reducing the burden of NCDs and their risk factors as well as their social and economic consequences.


Although progress remains insufficient, there are examples of best practices in the Caribbean that could to be scaled up. They include taxes on sugar-sweetened beverages, bans on the sale of sugary beverages in schools, and progress on tobacco control legislation in several countries. Caribbean heads of government and other CARICOM leaders have repeatedly called for expanding such measures to help reduce NCDs.

Representatives of Guyana, Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago will present their countries’ experiences and lessons learned in using laws and regulations to address NCDs. Other subjects will include the role of community law in addressing NCDs, how to mobilize political will to advance the use of legal measures, and how to harmonize policy approaches to face this challenge.

WHAT: “High-Level Meeting on the Use of Law to Tackle Noncommunicable Diseases: A critical step to accelerate progress in the Caribbean”

WHEN: Saturday, March 10, 2018, from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm

WHERE: Hyatt Regency Hotel, Port of Spain, Trinidad

  • WHO

    • Sir George Alleyne, PAHO Director Emeritus
    • Sir Dennis Bryon, President of the Caribbean Court of Justice
    • The Hon Minister Dr. Terrance Deyalsingh, Minister of Health of Trinidad and Tobago
    • The Hon Minister Mrs. Volda Laurence, Minister of Health of Guyana
    • The Hon Minister Ing. Patrick Pengel, Minister of Health of Suriname, Chair of the CARICOM Council for Human and Social Development (COHSOD)
    • The Hon Minister Mrs Paula Gopee-Scoon, Minister of Trade and Industry of Trinidad and Tobago, Chair of the Council of Trade and Economic Development (COTED)
    • Justice Winston Anderson, Judge of the Caribbean Court of Justice
    • Dr. Douglas Salter, Assistant Secretary-General, CARICOM Directorate for Human and Social Development
    • Mr. Joseph Cox, Assistant Secretary-General, CARICOM Directorate for Trade and Economic Integration
    • Dr. Corlita Babb-Schaefer, CARICOM General Counsel
    • Amb Courtenay Rattray. Ambassador Permanent Representative, Permanent Mission of Jamaica to the United Nations
    • Sir Trevor Hassel, President, Healthy Caribbean Coalition
    • Dr. James Hospedales, Executive Director, Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA)
    • Mr. Barton Clarke, Executive Director, Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute (CARDI)
    • Mr. Deryck Omar, Chief Executive Officer, CARICOM Regional Organization for Standards and Quality (CROSQ)
    • Dr. David Berry, Dean, Faculty of Law, University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus, Barbados
    • Dr. Leighton Jackson, Dean, Faculty of Law, University of the West Indies, Mona Campus, Jamaica

    Complete list of participants available here: http://www.paho.org/hq/index.php?option=com_docman&task=doc_view&gid=43984&Itemid=270  

AGENDA OF THE EVENT: http://www.paho.org/hq/index.php?option=com_docman&task=doc_view&gid=43983&Itemid=270

CONTACT:

Dr. Edwin Bolastig, PAHO Trinidad and Tobago Representative a.i., This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Dr. Taraleem Malcolm, NCD and Mental Health Advisor, PAHO Trinidad and Tobago, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Read more...

At UN, over $2 billion pledged to help hurricane-affected Caribbean nations

The international community mobilized over $1.3 billion in pledges and more than $1 billion in loans and debt relief to help Caribbean nations recover from the strong hurricanes that pummelled the region a few months ago, during a meeting at United Nations Headquarters on Tuesday.

“I think we’re extremely happy with the results of the conference,” said Stephen O’Malley, the UN Resident Coordinator and Resident Representative of the UN Development Programme (UNDP) for Barbados and the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States.

The powerful category-5 hurricanes Irma and Maria hit the Caribbean in September causing a number of deaths and widespread devastation in the Caribbean. According to the latest needs estimates, recovery costs are expected to surpass $5 billion.Barbuda, the smaller of the two-island State of Antigua and Barbuda, and Dominica were among the most severely affected, along with Anguilla, British Virgin Islands, The Bahamas, Turks and Caicos Islands. Haiti and St. Kitts and Nevis also suffered damage, while St. Maarten/St. Martin as well as Cuba, the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico were also impacted.

[ red the full story at UN News ]

Read more...

Historic participation of Caribbean countries at the UN General Assembly

Caribbean countries made one of their most memorable participations in history during the latest General Debate of the UN General Assembly last week.

Emotional pleas to mitigate climate change and to support the costly measures necessary to adapt to its effects, as well as to “build back better” after the devastating effects of extreme weather were expressed by the region’s delegates. On the top of everyone’s mind were the catastrophic effects of hurricanes Irma and Maria as the latter was still making its destructive way across the Caribbean.

Even on the wake of the catastrophic hurricanes, preparedness, humanitarian assistance and reconstruction were not the only issues raised by the region.  Delegates also made compelling statements about the importance of attaining the Sustainable Development Goals, and highlighted many of the vulnerabilities shared by Small Island Developing States. These included social and economic challenges, that range from debt to single sector economic dependency, human trafficking, migration and others.

Click on the links below to watch videos on demand of the Caribbean participation, or to read summaries and transcripts of the statements at the General Assembly.

 

H.E. Mr. Gaston Alphonso Browne,
Prime Minister
Antigua and Barbuda


Video of speech http://webtv.un.org/
Transcript https://gadebate.un.org/sites/default/files/gastatements/72/ag_en.pdf
News story https://gadebate.un.org/en/72/antigua-and-barbuda

 

H.E. Mr. Darren Allen Henfield,
Minister for Foreign Affairs
The Bahamas

Video of speech http://webtv.un.org/
Transcript https://gadebate.un.org/sites/default/files/gastatements/72/bs_en.pdf
News story https://gadebate.un.org/en/72/bahamas

 

H.E. Ms. Maxine Pamela Ometa McClean,
Minister for Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade
Barbados


Video of speech http://webtv.un.org/
Transcript   https://gadebate.un.org/sites/default/files/gastatements/72/bb_en.pdf
News story https://gadebate.un.org/en/72/barbados

 

H.E. Mr. Wilfred Elrington, 
Minister for Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade
Belize

Video of speech http://webtv.un.org/
Transcript https://gadebate.un.org/sites/default/files/gastatements/72/bz_en.pdf
News story https://gadebate.un.org/en/72/belize

 


H.E. Mr. Roosevelt Skerrit,
Prime Minister
Dominica

Video of speech http://webtv.un.org/
Transcript  https://gadebate.un.org/sites/default/files/gastatements/72/dm_en.pdf
News story https://gadebate.un.org/en/72/dominica

 


H.E. Mr. Elvin Nimrod,
Minister for Foreign Affairs
Grenada

Video of speech  http://webtv.un.org/
Transcript https://gadebate.un.org/sites/default/files/gastatements/72/gd_en.pdf
News story https://gadebate.un.org/en/72/grenada

 


H.E. Mr.  David Arthur Granger,
President
Guyana

Video of speech http://webtv.un.org/
Transcript  https://gadebate.un.org/sites/default/files/gastatements/72/gy_en.pdf
News story https://gadebate.un.org/en/72/guyana

 


H.E. Mrs. Kamina Johnson Smith,
Minister for Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade
Jamaica

Video of speech http://webtv.un.org/
Transcript https://gadebate.un.org/sites/default/files/gastatements/72/jm_en.pdf
News story https://gadebate.un.org/en/72/jamaica

 

H.E. Mr. Mark Anthony Brantley,
Minister for Foreign Affairs
Saint Kitts and Nevis

Video of speech http://webtv.un.org/
Transcript  https://gadebate.un.org/sites/default/files/gastatements/72/kn_en.pdf
News story https://gadebate.un.org/en/72/saint-kitts-and-nevis

 


H.E. Mr. Allen Michael Chastanet,
Prime Minister
Saint Lucia

Video of speech http://webtv.un.org/
Transcript https://gadebate.un.org/sites/default/files/gastatements/72/lc_en.pdf
News story https://gadebate.un.org/en/72/saint-lucia

 


H.E. Mr. Louis Straker,
Deputy Prime Minister
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

Video of speech http://webtv.un.org/
Transcript https://gadebate.un.org/sites/default/files/gastatements/72/vc_en.pdf
News story https://gadebate.un.org/en/72/saint-vincent-and-grenadines

 

H.E. Mrs. Yldiz Pollack-Beighle,
Minister for Foreign Affairs
Suriname

Video of speech http://webtv.un.org/
Transcript https://gadebate.un.org/sites/default/files/gastatements/72/sr_en.pdf
News story https://gadebate.un.org/en/72/suriname

 

H.E. Mr. Dennis Moses,
Minister for Foreign Affairs
Trinidad and Tobago

Video of speech http://webtv.un.org/
Transcript  https://gadebate.un.org/sites/default/files/gastatements/72/tt_en.pdf
News story https://gadebate.un.org/en/72/trinidad-and-tobago

 

 

 

Read more...

United Nations in the Caribbean joint statement on support for Irma victims

United Nations in the Caribbean

Press Release

For immediate release
Date:
 06 September, 2017
United Nations Deploying Aid and Personnel to Irma-affected Caribbean territories

Bridgetown, Barbados – September 6, 2017: The United Nations System is deploying staff and assistance to meet the needs of vulnerable Caribbean citizens in the path of record-breaking Hurricane Irma. Caribbean Small Island Developing States (SIDS) have unique economic, environmental and social vulnerabilities that are exacerbated in severe natural crises.

“Hurricane Irma is an unprecedented threat to the Caribbean. The United Nations is working closely with the CDEMA-led Regional Response Mechanism (RRM) and the affected countries to bring assistance to those most in need.  We are saddened by the reports of lives lost, and of people made homeless by this storm,” stressed Mr. Stephen O’Malley, United Nations Resident Coordinator for Barbados and the OECS.

Early indications are that there has been signficant damage to infrastructure in Sint Maarten, Anguilla, and Barbuda, while information from other islands is still coming in.

Rapid Needs Assessment and Technical Experts

Technical experts drawn from across the Caribbean, regional offices, and the various agency headquarters are deploying to support CDEMA and the affected countries as needed. These include water and sanitation and hygiene experts, engineers, medical doctors, logistics management, nutrition, waste water and child protection and social protection experts. Emergency funding will also be drawn down to respond the needs of those directly affected.

Agency Contributions

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs has deployed a four-person UN Disaster Assessment and Coordination (UNDAC) team comprised of first responders to augment Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency’s (CDEMA) capacity with coordination, needs assessment and information management expertise. UNDAC partners from the International Humanitarian Partnership and MapAction will provide support with logistics, communications and mapping.

UN Women Multi-Country office – Caribbean is partnering with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) to provide dignity kits which contain basic health and hygiene products for displaced women and girls, such as soap, underwear, bras and sanitary napkins. UN Women is also able to provide technical and financial support on economic initiatives to get women and their families back on their feet and to address safety and security concerns.

In addition to the Dignity/Hygiene Kits, as requested, UNFPA can support in providing life-saving reproductive health commodities through emergency Reproductive Health Kits. UNFPA would be able also to offer technical guidance on the prevention of Gender-Based Violence and sexual violence in affected communities.

UNDP has activated its crisis preparedness plans and will support countries both during the immediate response to this disaster and in crucial early recovery activities like debris management, emergency employment and supporting core government functions, if asked.

UNICEF Eastern Caribbean Area Office is still working with governments of impacted countries, other United Nations agencies, partner organisations and the regional emergency response mechanism to offer the required assistance and support, but has already pre-positioned emergency supplies in Antigua to be rapidly distributed to the most affected islands. UNICEF’s priority is ensuring the safety and security of children, especially those who are most disadvantaged.

The Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO) is deploying surge capacity with expertise in water, sanitation, hygiene, health and disaster assessment to support Ministries of Health and enable delivery of essential health services.

The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) Subregional Office for the Caribbean will work with governments of affected states to assess impact on fisheries and agriculture and pave the way for recovery of livelihoods and adequate food and nutrition.

The emergency and disaster response is coordinated by the Barbados-based Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management System. Under this umbrella system, the United Nations, donor agencies in the Caribbean including, USAID/OFDA, ECHO, DFID, Global Affairs Canada and others are coordinating their aid in light of the impact of Hurricane Irma and in readiness for the approaching Tropical Storm Jose.

 

 

For further information, please contact:

Sharon Carter-Burke
Communications Analyst
UN Women Multi Country Office - Caribbean
UN House, Marine Gardens
Hastings, Christ Church, Barbados
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Tel: +1 246 467 6000 Ext 6124

Fax:+1 246 437 6596
Read more...

Haiti has chance to solidify stability before UN mission’s drawdown, Security Council told

18 July 2017 – With three months left before the current United Nations peacekeeping mission in Haiti transitions to a smaller one, a UN envoy stressed today that the Caribbean country faces the “window of opportunity” to solidify stability, following recent elections.

“Haiti has remained on the path of stabilization and democratic consolidation,” the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Sandra Honoré, told the UN Security Council today.

“Looking ahead, for the country to make full use of the window of opportunity that emerged following the electoral process, additional measures will be needed to consolidate the security and stabilization gains of the past few years, create greater social and political cohesion and truly reinforce State institutions so that they can meet the needs of the Haitian people,” the Special Representative added.

Ms. Honoré noted that political space has opened up for the new Government to start addressing the many challenges facing the country, using this unique opportunity to tackle the root causes of instability, poverty, exclusion and impunity.

“Since then, initial steps aimed at overcoming longstanding problems in the areas of governance, rule of law and socio-economic development have been taken,” she said.

Those steps include a flagship development programme, the “caravan of change” in five of Haiti’s 10 departments, and the launch of legislative review to improve the investment climate, reinforce governance structures and restore State institutions.

However, it is “troubling” that the third branch of power – the judiciary – has not been brought to full functioning, she said, urging that key positions must be filled without further delay.

[testimonial author="Sandra Honore" Title="Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH)" avatar="../images/2017/honoreicon.png" icon="icon"] “Ultimately, Haiti’s security, political, social and development agenda can only be shaped by the national authorities and the Haitian people themselves;" [/testimonial]

The senior UN official also repeated her calls to modernize the penal system: “Without a properly functioning justice system, the Haitian National Police cannot effectively deliver security for all Haitian citizens and the domestic and international investments in the national police force will not develop to their full potential.”


She underscored the vital importance of inclusive national dialogue to forge a common vision for progress and articulate an institutional reform agenda.

Read more...
Subscribe to this RSS feed

Contact

Email: unic.portofspain@unic.org 

Telephone: 1(868) 623 8438 or 623 4813

Fax: 1 (868) 623 4332 

Address: 

2nd Floor Bretton Hall, 16 Victoria Avenue, 

Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago

 

 

 

Feature photos

  • 20180920 161147
  • RUBÉNUNCARES
  • ellaunfpa18
  • MUN STUDENTSSINGING
  • parent an students who attended in 2nd Climate Change workshop, with UNIC Director, Costa Rican Abassador, ASPnet Coordinator and guest presenter
  • UNIC UN Cares Trainer gets his certificate
  • UNFPA staff Ella presents a gift to a visitor at the UN booth on International Women's Day 2018
  • Culture night at MUN 2018 in Port of Spain