JOSÉ IGNACIO MARTÍN GALÁN
On the occasion of the International Volunteer Day on December 5 (JIV), the United Nations family in Haiti salutes the contribution of more than 17,000 active volunteers in Haiti for the year 2018. In key areas such as disaster prevention and response in support of Haitian authorities and organizations, they have contributed to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This group of national and international volunteers includes, among others, members of the decentralized committees of risk management and disasters, volunteer brigadiers of the National Directorate of Civil Protection (CPD), the Haitian Red Cross, Scouts Haiti, the Volunteer Promotion Network and the United Nations Volunteers. These volunteers of more than 15 nationalities – mostly Haitians – also work in other key areas for strengthening the development and resilience of populations in the face of disasters, such as civic education, human rights, food security, the promotion of gender equality, the protection of children and the environment, as well as the rule of law
This year, around the theme “Volunteers build resilient communities” _ ( “Volontè yo ap ede nou fé komnote yo pli djanm” in Creole) _the United Nations pay special tribute to all these volunteers involved in development initiatives and in the prevention and assistance to victims of natural disasters in Haiti. This recognition particularly commends the commitment of the DPC volunteers who continued to support these communities even though they themselves had been affected by disasters such as Hurricane Matthew in late 2016 and Hurricane Irma in 2017, as well as the earthquake that struck northern Haiti in 2018. Their role was crucial to saving lives during pre-hurricane evacuations, as well as emergency response, road cleaning , the distribution of aid and support for people in shelters.
It is within this framework, and that of the 16 days of activism against violence against women and girls, that the family of Nations UN participates under the leadership of the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) program in activities such as debates with volunteers, cultural events and workshops focused on topics such as risk and disaster n the environment, the role of volunteering in society and professional integration. These activities are carried out in partnership with national and local authorities, as well as civil society organizations, in the departments of North, West and Artibonite.
The actions proposed for the day have led to Emphasize the role of volunteering in achieving the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, which represent Haiti's commitment to future generations. The United Nations is and will be with Haiti and volunteers on this path.