PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti — Haiti says it is partially resuming international mail services for the first time since the January 12 earthquake ravaged much of the country’s national institutions, including the post office.
The Universal Postal Union (UPU), one of the United Nation’s specialised agencies, said it had informed the United States and France that they can now release mail destined for Haiti.
“The resumption of postal exchanges with the international community is essential because millions of Haitians living abroad have been longing to send aid to their compatriots, who were affected by the catastrophe,” said UPU’s Director General Edouard Dayan.
Full resumption of mail exchanges between Haiti and other UPU member countries is expected soon, according to UPU.
The agency is building a 600-square metre structure in the SONAPI industrial park, near the airport in the Haitian capital, Port-au-Prince. The structure will operate as an international mail exchange office.
All mail services to Haiti were halted after the earthquake reduced much of Port-au-Prince and several other cities to and towns to rubble, killed an estimated 300, 000 people and left more than 1.3 million others homeless.
“This resumption of service, albeit partial, shows that a sector that many people gave up for dead after the January disaster is alive and kicking,” said Margarette Emile, Director General of Haiti Postal Corporation.
“I also thank all UPU member countries for the solidarity they have shown with the Haitian Post. Without your support, we would be cut off from the rest of the world,” she added.
Many post offices around the world made donations in cash or in kind for Haiti and teams of international postal experts have twice visited Haiti to assess the earthquake’s impact on postal operations and help the Haiti Postal Corporation to reorganise itself.
Since the disaster, basic local postal services have been provided from the home of the Haiti Postal Corporation director general.