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UN Independent Experts urge International support for Haiti following earthquake

The Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in Haiti, Michel Forst, and the
Chairperson of the Coordination Committee of Special Procedures, Santiago Corcuera, issued the following statement today:

“We are shocked and extremely worried about the scope of the emergency in Port-au-Prince and the immediate surroundings after the series of earthquakes that have destroyed the city. We would like to express our deep sadness and concern about this tragedy, which has caused numerous victims and severe damage.

We wish to extend our solidarity and condolences to the population of Haiti which had already been so deeply affected by a series of natural disasters in 2008. Our thoughts are with the Haitian victims as well as with the staff of the UN and other international organizations whose fate is still unknown.

We also want to express our support to the Government of Haiti, which faces this new natural disaster in a complicated context. The images that are starting to emerge show the vulnerability of the population, which cannot face this additional test without support. Thousands of women, children and men are homeless and need water, food and shelter while housing and infrastructure have been massively destroyed or weakened by the earthquake.

We know international solidarity is already in action and that the UN is already responding through large-scale mobilization to provide the financial and other support that will be indispensable to help meet urgent needs.”

Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in Haiti, Michel Forst: http://www2.ohchr.org/english/countries/ht/mandate/index.htm

Chairperson of the Coordination Committee of Special Procedures, Santiago Corcuera: http://www2.ohchr.org/english/bodies/chr/special/ccspecialprocedures.htm

OHCHR Country Page – Haiti: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Countries/LACRegion/Pages/HTIndex.aspx

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For use of the information media; not an official record