Haiti at UN, Dominican Dodging on Immigration, UNICEF on
Staffing, IFAD to Forgive?
Matthew Russell Lee
NATIONS, January 22 -- The UN in New York was full of Haiti news on
Friday, some of it misleading, other "off the record." At
the day's noon briefing, by video hook up from Haiti Carlos Morales
Troncoso, Foreign Minister of the Dominican Republic, bragged to the
Press about his government's help to Haiti.
Inner City Press asked
about the blocking
of sick Haitians, including infants, at the
Dominican border. I haven't seen that report,
replied. Video here,
from Minute 25:57.
there was a briefing by UNICEF about Haiti, but it remained unclear
what information could be used by the press. UNICEF spokesman Chris
De Bono introduced an official who could not, it seemed, be named.
City Press asked de Bono on the record why UNICEF had not been
able to lead the water and sanitation cluster after the earthquake.
that UNICEF had only ten international staff in country on the day of
the earthquake, but was able to take over the WASH cluster by "day
Press asked how many staff UNICEF has there
now. De Bono said he didn't know, to email him for the answer. Inner
City Press did, but as of 10 p.m., with a fundraiser on network
television benefiting UNICEF among others, no response had been
provided on how many staff UNICEF has in Haiti.
Rubble of UN's Christopher Hotel - was it MOSS compliant?
Ban Ki-moon on January 21, Bill Clinton was asked to which charities
people should give. Only those with big presences in Haiti, Bill
Clinton replied. So it would seem UNICEF should be able to say how
many staff it had and has in Haiti. Inner City Press has also asked
UNICEF about its operations in Sri Lanka and Somalia.
after Inner City Press asked a question about the UN
Fund for Agricultural Development and its outstanding loans to Haiti,
would the loans be forgiven? On January 22, spokesman Martin
asked a question, Matthew, yesterday, about the debt repayments by
Haiti. The Secretary-General, of course, welcomes any efforts to
ease financial burdens placed on Haitians. As for the International
Fund for Agricultural Development, IFAD, it says it has supported,
and is supporting, rural and agricultural development in Haiti
through seven loans, for a total amount of $90 million on highly
concessional terms. Six of these loans are now completed and closed.
And they’re covered by the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries relief
initiative, and consequently, the debt repayments are covered by debt
relief. There is one loan not covered by that initiative, and
repayments for this loan will not start before 2018. The Fund is now
reviewing its approach towards these repayments with a view to call
on its Member States to assist in directly supporting Haiti with
see. Inner City Press
but Mr. Nesirky did not answer, about the material
assistance the UN provides to bereaved families of international and
national staff members:
Can you either state now, or at the next briefing or in between, what
material assistance is being provided to the families of those UN
staff, both international and national, who perished in Haiti? And
whether the benefits are the same, the material assistance? How, you
know, between these two groups. And just what the number…? I’ve
heard that [it’s] Schedule D of the benefits package, but I’d
like to know what it is.
Nesirky: I’m sure you would. And I’m sure that more than you,
the family members would like to know. And that is being worked on
very intensively, and it’s something that occupies the mind of many
people, not least the Secretary-General.
City Press: But isn’t there a standard, I mean, isn’t there a UN
policy? What I’m asking for is the policy, not actually what,
what… You see what I mean?
Yes, I do understand. This has to do with insurance and other
matters, and that’s being looked into very closely by the right
people in Field Support, in the Department of Management, Department
of Human Resources Management.
Sure. When a decision is made, you’ll…?
The question of payments of whatever kind to family members or those
who were injured is really a matter for them, between the United
Nations and them. The principle that you refer to, of course, is
something that we would want to make public.
City Press: Isn’t it a public…? I mean, it’s a public organization.
That’s what I’m saying. The principle is very clear. It’s a
matter of public interest, you’re absolutely right. And on the
principle, we will make it clear what’s going on. But, the details
are something for the family members.
Watch this site.
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