UN / HAITI

29-Nov-2011 00:02:12
Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Haiti Nigel Fisher said today that it is "a myth that no reconstruction has taken place in Haiti" adding that the rate of debris removal has been faster than at the World Trade Center in New York or in Aceh, Indonesia after the Pacific Tsunami. MINUSTAH
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STORY: UN / HAITI
TRT: 2.12
SOURCE: UNTV
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH/ NATS

DATELINE: 29 SEPTEMBER 2011, NEW YORK CITY / FILE
SHOTLIST
FILE – RECENT, NEW YORK CITY

1. Wide shot, exterior United Nations headquarters

29 SEPTEMBER 2011, NEW YORK CITY

2. Wide shot, dais
3. Med shot, audience
4. SOUNDBITE (English) Nigel Fisher, Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Haiti:
“I think it’s a myth that no reconstruction has taken place in Haiti. A number of key reconstruction projects are under way. Just yesterday, the Northern Industrial Park project was launched, and there’s already sufficient investment in place to ensure twenty thousand new jobs and with additional investment now being sought, the aim is to increase this to sixty thousand jobs. I think that’s a realistic and attainable target.”
5. Med shot, journalist
6. SOUNDBITE (English) Nigel Fisher, Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Haiti:
“Much earthquake debris remains, but almost fifty percent of it is now gone. It’s been cleared, and what does that mean? That means five million cubic meters of debris have been moved. I have to say that it is much faster than the rate of removal of debris at the World Trade Center site after 9/11, and again if I compare with Aceh, there it took five-and-a-half years to remove 1.3 million cubic meters of debris and waste.”
7. Med shot, journalist
8. SOUNDBITE (English) Nigel Fisher, Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Haiti:
“Uruguay has acted impeccably in responding quickly, acknowledging responsibility, condemning the act and repatriating the people. I understand now there is also a case there in terms of compensation.”
9. Med shot, journalist
10. SOUNDBITE (English) Nigel Fisher, Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Haiti:
“About twenty percent of the people still in camps are under that threat of eviction from owners who’d like their land back. Until now, despite repeated efforts with the Government since I’ve been there in February of last year to set up a mechanism, we’ve had no success with the previous Government. With the current Government, we’ve been discussing with them setting up a mechanism whereby we can systematically address claims, look for alternatives and look for ways of compensating owners so that people do not have to leave.”
11. Med shot, journalist
12. Wide shot, dais
STORYLINE
As the two year anniversary of the earthquake that devastated Haiti approaches, one of the top United Nations (UN) officials in the country said today (29 November) that it is “a myth that no reconstruction has taken place in Haiti.”

Nigel Fisher, the Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Haiti told reporters in New York that “a number of key reconstruction projects are under way” including yesterday’s launch of the Northern Industrial Park project which has already “sufficient investment in place to ensure twenty thousand new jobs.”

With additional investment now being sought, he said, the aim is to increase this number to “a realistic and attainable target” of sixty thousand jobs.

Fisher touted improvements in all areas of Haitian life, including housing, road construction, education and the treatment of cholera.

He said that although “much earthquake debris remains” almost fifty percent, or five million cubic meters, has been cleared, adding that this is “much faster than the rate of removal of debris at the World Trade Center site after 9/11” or in Aceh, after the Pacific Tsunami where “it took five-and-a-half years to remove 1.3 million cubic meters of debris and waste.”

The magnitude 7.0 earthquake struck Haiti on 12 January 2010 claiming more 222,000 lives and displacing over 1.5 million people, many buildings including the UN headquarters in Port au Prince was destroyed. Among those who perished were 102 UN personnel, constituting the highest loss of life from a single event in the organization’s history.

Speaking about the recent allegations of abuse of a Haitian national by a group of Uruguayan peacekeepers, Fisher said that “Uruguay has acted impeccably in responding quickly, acknowledging responsibility, condemning the act and repatriating the people.” He added that it was his understanding that “a case there in terms of compensation” is now underway.

The Deputy Special Representative said that two thirds of displaced Haitians have now moved out of camps, but expressed concern about the threat of eviction “from owners who’d like their land back.”

He said that “despite repeated efforts with the Government, there is still no mechanism in place to “systematically address claims, look for alternatives and look for ways of compensating owners so that people do not have to leave.”
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