As Haïti marks two years of anniversary after a devastating earthquake, bilateral relations between the Caribbean nation and Rwanda continues to grow stronger, officials have said.
Port-au-Prince, the capital city of Haïti, was struck by 7.0 magnitude earthquake on January 12, 2010, killing hundreds of thousands and leaving millions others homeless. It caused massive damages as it flattened the capital and surrounding areas.
According to Didi Bertrand Farmer, the Chair of Haïti-Rwanda Commission (HRC), the commission has significantly promoted the spirit of south-south cooperation.
“Six Haitian students are currently studying in Rwanda and others are going to come soon,” he said in a statement. Rwanda, through the United Nations, also deployed Police officers to Haiti.
Farmer attributed delays in his country’s recovery process to a six-month period of political crisis and the outbreak of Cholera epidemic that has affected 500,000 families, killing 7,000 by mid-December, 2011.
“On behalf of the Haitian People, HRC would like to take this opportunity to extend to the Government of Rwanda and its people its heartfelt thanks and gratitude for the support provided during these difficult moments and for the commitment to walk with Haïti towards better days,” Farmer said in a statement.
Speaking to The New Times yesterday, Theos Badege, the Rwanda National Police spokesperson said: “We have deployed our officers under Formed Protection Unit. They have helped the people in Haiti to get back to their normal lives.”
The officers serve under the UN Mission for Stabilization in Haiti (MINUSTAH). Badege said the police officers help provide humanitarian assistance, conduct patrols and guard VIPs and key installations in the troubled country.
“They have participated in community work with the Haitian people by cleaning parts of the capital and other areas,” Badege noted.
Two years after the catastrophe, the rebuilding process is measured but the country has registered some progress.
Sixty percent of the displaced people were relocated in their home regions and 50 percent of rubbles removed.
A campaign has also been launched to inform the population on new building norms designed to help prevent the occurrence of another catastrophe.