ALBA agrees to send aid for the reconstruction of Haiti

CARACAS, January 25.— President Hugo Chávez of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela led the extraordinary meeting of the Political Council of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA), which took place from Sunday in the Miraflores Palace.

The emergency meeting, which had an immediate response from the member nations, discussed the regional bloc’s contribution to the reconstruction of devastated Haiti.

According to Chávez, the meeting – which included the distinguished presence of Roosevelt Skerrit, prime minister of Dominica, and other ALBA representatives – was convened to talk about the terrible situation in Haiti, a nation with permanent observer status in ALBA, and to strengthen humanitarian aid.

At the end of the meeting, the final declaration was read out by Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez and it was agreed that this plan would be urgently passed on to Haitian President René Préval via a high level commission.

The text states that the reconstruction efforts in the sister Caribbean nation “must have the people and government of Haiti as the major protagonists, thus respecting the principles of sovereignty and territorial integrity.”

The continuity of work underway, centrally in “the healthcare sphere,” was reiterated, in terms of developing a plan giving priority attention to children and to include the rebuilding of the Haitian educational infrastructure, food and school aid programs and the training of teachers.

The creation of a Humanitarian Fund via the Bank of ALBA was approved and is to be established with the support of member countries. Members agreed on the supply of food to alleviate the crisis and the reactivation of food production plans that were underway in the framework of the ALBA-Food Initiative.

They also proposed, among other measures, to reintroduce projects in support of electricity generation, guaranteeing necessary fuel supplies to plants in Cap-Haïtien, Gonaves and Carrefour, areas gravely damaged by the earthquake.

Translated by Granma International __________________

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