As the world, on Wednesday, commemorated the first anniversary of the deadly earthquake that rocked Haiti, the country’s nationals have said that they look at Rwanda as a role model for reconstruction.
This was revealed by Didi Bertrand Farmer, the chairperson of the Haiti-Rwanda commission.
“After the earthquake, we need to learn from our friends, especially those who have recovered from devastating tragedies. We are grateful to Rwanda not only for its solidarity in generously supporting relief efforts in the immediate aftermath of the earthquake, but also for its willingness to share its own lessons with us in the long-term reconstruction process,” Farmer said.
She added that country was the best example of how a post-calamity state can strongly get on its feet.
Rwanda contributed $100,000 to relief efforts in the aftermath of the earthquake and has increased its contingent of police officers to the UN Mission for the Stabilization of Haiti (MINUSTAH).
Farmer, who has lived in Rwanda since 2006, founded the Haiti-Rwanda Commission last year.
“Rwanda is now viewed as one of Africa’s success stories and this has attracted Haiti to draw a lesson from here,” she said.
Meanwhile, five Haitian students recently arrived in the country to begin studies at the National University in Butare courtesy of a Rwanda Government scholarships.
According to Farmer, plans are underway have more Haitians come to work in Rwanda in various sectors.
After the tragedy, it was estimated that over, over 20% of federal employees died, most major institutions of higher learning were demolished, and over 90% of federal buildings, including the national palace and ministries, destroyed.
The total cost of the damage has been estimated at $7.8 billion.
An estimated 300,000 people perished in the country’s capital Port-au-Prince following the January 12, 2010 earthquake while a similar number were injured and more than one million left homeless.