26 Jan 10 - UNCTAD pledges help to Haiti as part of overall UN plan; will focus on restoring trade, investment flows
UNCTAD stands ready to provide assistance to help rebuild the capacities of Haiti in the area of economic governance, the organization´s Secretary-General, Supachai Panitchpakdi, said today.
UNCTAD will join in UN-wide recovery plans for the earthquake-stricken country, bringing together the World Bank, IMF, European Commission, Inter-American Development Bank, UN regional commissions and many other actors, under the leadership of the Haitian Government.
UNCTAD, leading the UN´s Interagency Cluster on Trade and Productive Capacities, will coordinate assistance in the following areas:
- Enhancing export opportunities and reactivating international trade operations;
- Promoting international investment; and
- Developing small- and medium-sized enterprises.
All of these efforts will help foster productive capacities - that is, the ability of the economy to produce and trade in a wide range of goods of increasing value added and hence support employment generation and economic growth.
Mr. Supachai said that UNCTAD, through the interagency grouping, will coordinate assistance with regional organizations, in particular the Economic System for Latin America and the Caribbean (SELA) and the UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), both of which are already working in Haiti on trade and trade-related matters.
The UNCTAD Secretary-General, noting that recovery for Haiti will be a lengthy process, cited a statement delivered on behalf of the UN system at yesterday´s Ministerial Conference on Haiti in Montreal. At that conference, Helen Clark, Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), referred to Haiti´s "enormous challenge of recovery and reconstruction".
The earthquake, measuring 7.0 on the Richter scale, struck Haiti on 12 January.
The CEB Interagency Cluster on Trade and Productive Capacity is led by UNCTAD and includes UNIDO, UNDP, ITC, FAO, WTO, the five UN Regional Commissions, UNEP, and UNOPS.