Miami-Dade Commissioner meets with Haitian officials in Port-au-Prince

MIAMI – Miami-Dade Commissioner Dorrin D. Rolle visited Port-au-Prince, Haiti on February 20, 2009 to meet with some of the island’s government officials and determine how Miami-Dade County may be able to assist Haiti. In the last year, the country was faced with several crises, including riots over skyrocketing food prices and natural disasters that destroyed homes and killed many islanders.

Commissioner Rolle spoke with Haitian President Rene Garcia Preval, Prime Minister Michele Duvivier Pierre-Louis, and Minister of Public Health & Population Alex Larsen about helping Haiti develop a hurricane preparedness plan. “The four storms that hit Haiti last hurricane season absolutely devastated the island,” said Commissioner Rolle. “There were hundreds left dead and thousands more left without shelter, food, or clean water. With Miami-Dade’s experience in hurricane preparedness, we can help Haiti implement proactive measures that can get people out of harm’s way and anticipate necessary services to address the aftermath.”

(L-R) Miami-Dade County Commissioner Dorrin D. Rolle, Haitian President Rene Garcia Preval, Pasteur Erol Julien; and Senate President, Kelly Bastien.

The commissioner also visited a Food for the Poor facility where Haitians in need can go to receive food for themselves and their families. Commissioner Rolle was able to distribute food to visitors who attended the facility. The center feeds thousands of Haitians daily.

Miami-Dade County Commissioner Dorrin D. Rolle (left) distributes food to Haitians at the island’s Food For The Poor facility.

Commissioner Rolle has been an advocate for providing humanitarian aid to Haiti. Last September, in collaboration with renowned Haitian musician, Sweet Micky, he hosted the successful “HELP FOR HAITI” concert in Miami, which attracted more than 9,000 attendees and collected enough food and supplies for the island to fill two (2) 40-foot shipping container, as well as more than $30,000 in monetary contributions.

(L-R) Senate President, Kelly Bastien, Prime Minister Michele Duvivier Pierre-Louis, and Miami-Dade County Commissioner Dorrin D. Rolle.

“I am thankful to be able to join with Commissioner Rolle in a way that would positively impact Haitians in Miami and at home,” said Sweet Micky.

“Miami-Dade has strong ties to Haiti and we should do all that we can to ensure that its residents are getting the basic of human needs,” said the commissioner.

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