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Haiti - UNESCO : $700,000 of Spain, for the culture
19/04/2011 16:35:08

Haiti - UNESCO : $700,000 of Spain, for the culture
Essential part of the Haitian identity, the culture was the focus of a conference on the reconstruction of Haiti which was held today at the Paris headquarters of UNESCO. Its goal: mobilize the international community and the private sector to restore cultural heritage damaged by the earthquake and to make function again the cultural institutions.

Representatives of Member States, multilateral organizations, development banks, private sector and civil society were invited to the meeting chaired by Irina Bokova Director General of UNESCO and Soraya Rodríguez Ramos Secretary of State for Spanish international cooperation. Michaëlle Jean, the UNESCO Special Envoy for Haiti and Stefan Malebranche Director General of the Ministry of Culture of Haiti, also took part in the conference "Haiti: Making culture a motor for reconstruction".

Following the earthquake that struck the country in January 2010, UNESCO said that it had raised $ 9 million for the reconstruction and nearly 23 million are under negotiation. These funds have enabled the implementation of projects in the field of the education and science.

"Now the time has come for us to mobilize more for the culture," said Irina Bokova "The culture is constitutive of the Haitian identity, it is everywhere in the street, in homes, in the way of life and thinking. Culture is a motivating force, a force of gathering".

"There is a state of emergency. We must redouble our energy to support the dream that every Haitian is aspiring. All that is quantified and feasible. Our solidarity must not deflect" said at the conference Michaelle Jean.

Irina Bokova, deplored the looting that affects the monuments and historical sites in Haiti, even the tiles of churches are stolen. In addition, Bokova stressed the importance of revitalizing the culture as a development tool and crafts in particular, as a source of income that helps to promote tourism.

Among the projects presented today by UNESCO: the rehabilitation of inner-city of Port-au-Prince, the reconstruction of the library network, the protection the National History Park – Citadel, Sans Souci, Ramiers, the only world heritage site, securing sites against looting and the conservation of collections from museums and private damaged during the earthquake.

The actions to be financed, presented today, involved five key areas:

  • World Heritage (cultural and natural)
  • The intangible cultural heritage
  • Movable heritage (museums, archives, libraries)
  • Cultural industries
  • Cultural Policies

Following this meeting, Spain has committed to to contribute for $700,000 to fund these projects.

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