UN chief urges nations to consider deploying forces to help Haiti
The United Nations chief today urged countries to consider putting together a coalition of forces to help Haiti – in the wake of its worst earthquake since 1944, as the death toll from the quake in the impoverished nation has reached over 200.
“This is a time for solidarity not only among the member states, but also among the people of Haiti who are now facing this terrible tragedy,” Ban said. “In the face of the unfolding tragedy, people in other countries may think we are not in touch with their concerns, but that is not the case.”
In a series of meetings with the head of the Security Council as well as other high profile leaders, Ban expressed support for the UN’s humanitarian efforts to support the most vulnerable populations, but cautioned that the most pressing need was to help with the recovery efforts, which have largely been stalled by the lack of access to the island.
Ban also called on the countries to take advantage of the opportunity to send their forces to Haiti.
“We know that there are many potential contributors,” he said. “We are seeking the support of all those members of the community who have the capacity to contribute.”
As the death toll rose to 200, Ban met with Haitian President Jovenel Moise on Sunday. The two met at noon on Monday at the Presidential Palace, and at the end of the meeting Moise declared the death toll to be just over 200, which was down from an earlier figure of 252.
Ban also had a two-hour breakfast meeting with the prime minister of Haiti, Jean-Max Bellerive, who told Ban that he will meet with several world leaders in the coming days to discuss the potential options to help improve the situation in Haiti.
“The fact that the Prime Minister of Haiti has said that he will meet, on the 11th or the 12th with heads of state from around the world, is encouraging,” Ban said.
Ban also met with the United Nations secretary general, United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and several members of the US Congress.