Uganda contributes US$100,000 to Haiti

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The Ugandan government on Monday announced its contribution of 100,000 U.S dollars to tens of thousands of the Haitian earthquake victims.

Sam Kutesa, Uganda's foreign affairs minister announced the contribution at the launch of the one month "Haiti Disaster Appeal Fund" organized by the High Commission of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago and the government of Uganda.

Kutesa said that the Ugandan government "is deeply concerned about the scale of disaster left in the wake of the earthquake in Haiti" and pledged its commitment to raising funds for the initiative.

"The magnitude of challenge facing the country is too big. With the level of poverty in the country, it provides it with no chance to cope up with the disaster," said Kutesa.

"It's on this account that the government of Uganda in conjunction with High commission of Trinidad and Tobago has launched 'Haiti disaster appeal fund' so that the people of Uganda can demonstrate their support to the people of Haiti," he said.

The fund is meant to raise some relief and recovery funds to aid the people of Haiti after the Jan. 12 devastating earthquake that has killed tens of thousands of people and crippled the infrastructure of the Caribbean island nation, already the poorest in the western hemisphere.

"I urge Ugandans to donate generous to the fund to support the humanitarian crisis in Haiti," he said. The Haiti balance sheet suggests that much more have to be done by the international community to place back the country into its economic growth and development, according to Kutesa.

"Since independence, the people of Haiti have made significant efforts in their quest for economic development and national transformation. Much more is needed from International community," he said.

He said Haiti set the benchmark for political liberation and independence of Caribbean's and Latin America and was a catalyst for decolonization of Africa.

"The ties between Caribbean community, which Haiti belongs to, Uganda and Africa as a whole have defied the challenges of history and geography that normally acted as a barrier to friendship, progress and cooperation," said Kutesa.

Meanwhile, the Rastafarian community in Uganda will on Feb. 25 hold a joint concert with other local musicians to raise funds for the disaster affected people in Haiti. The event will be graced by Rastafarians from Africa and across the world, said Bobi Wine, a prominent local musician.

Some African countries like Senegal have offered land to displaced Haitians for temporary settlement as the situation normalizes.

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