MESSAGE ON SECOND ANNIVERSARY OF HAITI EARTHQUAKE
Port au Prince, 12 January 2012
Delivered by Anthony Banbury, Assistant Secretary-General for the Department of Field Support
Two years ago today, Haiti confronted a national disaster that shook the country … and our own Organization … to the core.
Along with the people of Haiti themselves, we lost colleagues, friends and family. And with them, we have struggled to overcome tragedy and rebuild.
There is no better way to honour the memory of those who sacrificed so much than by carrying on their work. And you have done so.
So many of our international staff stayed on during these difficult two years. Our extraordinary local staff has been the best face of our partnership with the Haitian people throughout these testing times.
Despite the most challenging circumstances, you persevered. And you have made an enormous difference in the life of Haiti and its people.
Thanks to your help, more people have left the camps and rebuilt their homes. Rubble has been cleared. Children are in school. More people are getting healthcare and clean water.
The challenges remain large, of course. Hundreds of thousands still lack adequate shelter. A new government is still trying to find its footing. The cholera epidemic still threatens people’s lives.
As we enter the New Year, the people of Haiti continue to look to the
United Nations for help and hope. I know that you will deliver because you have done so with such courage and commitment for so long.
Today, I want to thank you and salute you. I wish I could be there in person. It would be an honour, on this somber and inspiring anniversary, to shake each of you by the hand in gratitude for your noble service.
(Click here for French version.)