Haiti's charge d'affaires thanks Canada for its help

Nathalie Gissel-Menos, charge d'affaires of the Haitian Diplomatic Mission, addresses the press...

Nathalie Gissel-Menos, charge d'affaires of the Haitian Diplomatic Mission, addresses the press following a speech by Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon in Ottawa March 15, 2010. (ANDRE FORGET/QMI AGENCY)

ALTHIA RAJ, Parliamentary Bureau

, Last Updated: 6:15 PM ET

OTTAWA — The head of Haiti’s diplomatic mission thanked Canada for its generosity and urged the world to continue its help Wednesday.

“The country needs real and profound attention so that it can be reborn from its ashes,” Haiti’s charge d’affaires in Ottawa, Nathalie Gissel-Menos, said.

She made the comments before Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon and civil servants from the department of foreign affairs to mark the Francophonie’s 40th anniversary.

One in every three homes in Port-au-Prince is destroyed, nearly 1.5 million people are homeless and the dead now count more than 220,000, she said.

“This does not allow us to celebrate as we should Francophonie’s anniversary,” Gissel-Menos said.

Haiti’s representative thanked diplomats, the Canadian Forces for their work in Leogane and Jacmel, and Canadians in particular.

“Canadians who donated, from one end of the country to the other, testify to the unwavering generosity and solidarity between Canada and Haiti,” she said.

Cannon praised Haiti’s people for their courage after the earthquake devastated their country.

The Canadian International Development Agency had disbursed $85 million in Haiti and matching funding had raised more than $154.4 million, he said.

Cannon also extended his deep appreciation to staff who were listening in Port-au-Prince and Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, for their “heroic” work during trying circumstances.

A second international donor conference for Haiti will be held at the end of March at the United Nations.

althia.raj@sunmedia.ca


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