NEW YORK, United States (CMC) — Caribbean American legislators here have called for international support for Haiti, as the country observes the ninth anniversary of the devastating earthquake.
New York State Assemblywoman Rodneyse Bichotte, the daughter of Haitian immigrants, and New York City Councilman Jumaane Williams, the son of Grenadian immigrants, told the Caribbean Media Corporation on Saturday that 2.5 million people in Haiti are still in dire need of aid.
“Haiti still needs our help,” said Bichotte, who represents the 42nd Assembly District in Brooklyn, stating that the 7.0 earthquake that hit Haiti on January 12, 2010 claimed hundreds of thousands of lives and displaced millions.”
Since the massive earthquake, Bichotte said Haiti has been “battling the subsequent cholera epidemic and the multitude of natural disasters.”
She noted that the decision comes “after a slew of bigoted comments made by President Trump, disrespecting Haiti and its people.”
“I am deeply offended by these words and actions,” she said. “The White House’s decision adds insult to injury with the mounting catastrophes and distress.
As a representative of the largest Haitian community in the United States outside of Florida, Williams said he takes “very seriously the responsibility of contributing to the ongoing mission of remembrance, recovery and rebuilding.
“Despite the harm being done by our government, however, I know that the American people still recognise the need to extend aid to our brothers and sisters in Haiti, who have done so much for our nation throughout its history, playing a role in doubling the size of our country and helping us to grow, and who we must repay,” he said.
“Our government is factually wrong, but our people can still act in a way that is morally right,” Williams declared. “I am hopeful that we can all work together in bringing Haiti to new heights in the year to come.”
In commemorating the anniversary of the 2010 earthquake, the United Nations noted on Saturday that half of the Haitian capital, Port-au-Prince, was destroyed where 220,000 were reported dead and one million residents displaced.
Nine years after the earthquake, the situation in Haiti is “very different,” according to the Haitian Government. According to the UN Haiti is now much better prepared for similar natural disasters.