CWS Board says Haitians must lead reconstruction effort

The board of directors of Church World Service has strongly affirmed the need for Haitians to lead development and reconstruction efforts in the wake of the country's devastating Jan. 12 earthquake.

New York – The board of directors of Church World Service has "strongly affirmed" the need for Haitians to lead development and reconstruction efforts in the wake of the country's devastating Jan. 12 earthquake.

In a March 11 "Statement for a Just and Compassionate Response" to the Haiti emergency, approved at a meeting in Durham, N.C., the CWS board affirmed "the need for a Haitian-led broad-based development strategy and planning, in which the Haitian people and their community leaders are fully participant, and which includes rebuilding of infrastructure with attention to disaster risk reduction, creating growing economic opportunities, and addressing the need for greater food production capacity within Haiti."

The statement, issued three weeks before a major Haiti donors' conference at the United Nations planned for March 31, recognizes what the board called "the vital importance of effective cooperation among international aid organizations, local Haitian organizations, and the Haitian government to ensure that resources are made available to all areas of need equitably, and to ensure that local communities play a key part in defining their own recovery process."

The statement notes that local participation and partnerships--including with partners in the neighboring Dominican Republic--have been key elements of the CWS response, which has emphasized a need for a "regional approach" to both emergency- and long-term needs in Haiti.

For the complete statement, see: www.churchworldservice.org/statement (pdf).

Media Contact:
Lesley Crosson, 212-870-2676, lcrosson@churchworldservice.org
Jan Dragin, 781-925-1526, jdragin@gis.net


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