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Acting GA President Calls for World Effort to Meet Urgent Needs of Haitians

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More than a week later after the devastating earthquake in Haiti, "we are only beginning to realize the full extent of the loss and horrendous destruction, " the acting president of the General Assembly (GA) said Friday, calling upon the international community to step up their efforts in meeting the urgent needs of Haitians.

The acting GA president, Byrganym Aitimova who is Kazakhstan's permanent representative to the UN, made this statement at the UN Headquarters here in New York where the 192-member body unanimously adopted a resolution, which called on the international community to provide "speedy, sustainable and adequate" support to quake-hit Haiti.

In addition, the world body called for an early international response to the UN flash appeal of US$562 million for Haiti.

Speaking on behalf of the GA President Ali Treki and member states, Aitimova expressed condolences to the Haitians, families of the UN staff and peacekeepers who have lost their lives.

"We recognize the sacrifice of each UN staff member," she said.

"The immediate response of the international community to the earthquake was a remarkable example of solidarity with the people and the government of Haiti," she said. "The humanitarian assistance that is being delivered is providing relief and is beginning to meet some of the urgent needs of the people of Haiti. "

"But much more needs to be done," she said noting that the international community is struggling with their coordination.

"I believe that relief efforts in order to be more effective also need to involve and mobilize the Haitians themselves," Aitimova said.

She reiterated the full commitment of the international community in providing immediate relief and emergency assistance.

"It is crucial to ensure support for the even more difficult task of long term reconstruction and development of Haiti" as she noted that it will require "sustained focus and attention" by the international community in the time ahead.

(Xinhua News Agency January 23, 2010)

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