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Ban Ki-moon urges donors to step beyond traditional humanitarian aid in Haiti

March 30, 2009

By Jennifer Browning

During his previous trip to Haiti with former President Bill Clinton, U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon told the students from the Haitian Education Leadership Program (HELP) that he saw them as “seeds of hope” for their country. In his article in the opinion section of the New York Times today, Ban expresses how he has more than just hope for the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere.

Ban agreed with Haitian President René Preval who stated that Haiti was at a turning point. The U.N Secretary General is hoping that this pivotal moment in Haiti’s future will send it toward the light to embrace hope and opportunity. Ban speaks about the Hope II Act passed last year by Congress which offers Haiti duty-free, quota-free access to U.S. markets for the next nine years. Ban says Hope II will offer Haiti the chance to move beyond aid to genuine economic development.

Ban asks for donors to reach out and invest in Haiti by reaching beyond traditional humanitarian aid so that countries like Haiti can benefit from sustainability programs like that of the gifted education program in Port-au-Prince.

The Global Institute at the University of Miami is already reaching toward non-traditional humanitarian aid through its work with the Millennium Village Project in Marmont. By teaming up with other non-governmental organizations like Project Medishare and the Earth Institute at Columbia University , the Global Institute is able to create a solid program focusing on sustainable development.

Read Ban Ki-moon’s full article “Haiti’s Big Chance” in the New York Times here or read Neil MacFarquhar’s article Haiti’s Woes are Top Test for Aid Effort.

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