This is the text of the speech that I gave at the Earthquake Symposium on January 11th in Port-au-Prince. Although I am very proud of the work that we have done to repair houses in Port-au-Prince, I hope that we are able to move beyond just repairing houses to rebuilding communities.
Ladies and Gentlemen, good afternoon.
The Pan American Development Foundation has been partnering with the Haitian government for over thirty years. We remain committed to helping Haitians to rebuild their homes, rebuild their neighborhoods and rebuild their lives.
I have lived on this island for more than a dozen years. I was living in Santo Domingo when the earthquake hit and drove here bringing the first load of relief supplies the next day.
We have heard of the progress being made on repairing houses, removing rubble, and building transitional houses. These are important steps on the path towards rebuilding communities.
I would like to finish these talks by discussing what it takes to rebuild a community and how we have succeeded in involving both the local community and the Haitian government.