01.03.2010 -

UNESCO provides assistance in preserving Haitian documentary heritage

As an outcome of a staff mission to Haiti to ascertain the immediate needs in the area of communication and information while avoiding overlaps with initiatives being implemented by other partners, UNESCO has provided emergency funding to undertake protective actions to safeguard endangered documentary items.

The funds will enable the National Archives to relocate some of the most endangered documents from its damaged Bicentenaire Building to boxes as a protective measure. The transfer of these documents will enable the Archives to recommence some of its vital work relating to the management of civil status and registry documents. The funds will also permit the Archives to receive governmental records from some of the Ministries and other public institutions that collapsed following the earthquake in January.


The National Library too will receive funds for similar emergency activities involving libraries, including the Hénock Trouillot library, which were destroyed or will be demolished as a safety precaution. Considerable quantities of important documents are still under the rubble and with the start of the rainy season these will be permanently lost if not placed in watertight storage.


This assistance forms part of the overall global action of UNESCO in the reconstruction of Haiti. Financial contributions are welcome either <a target=_blank href="http://donate.unesco.org/en/Pages/default.aspx?Programme=HAITI">online</a> or in the form of U.S. dollar or Euro cheques bearing the reference "Haiti" which can be sent to:


UNESCO, Treasurer - BOC/TRS - 7 place de Fontenoy - 75352 Paris 07 Sp - France.


UNESCO is also cooperating with its partners in the International Committee of the Blue Shield (ICBS) to coordinate efforts. A list of short-, medium- and long-term needs was prepared by the Chair of the Haitian Memory of the World National Committee within the framework of the "Heritage in Danger" Crisis Unit that it has established. The list can be downloaded from the website of the International Council on Archives (a Blue Shield Network partner): <a target=_blank href="http://www.ica.org/sites/default/files/Statement%20of%20requirements%20Haiti.pdf">click here</a>.

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