- Title: HAITI: Japanese U.N. peacekeepers re-open major Haiti road
- Date: 30th May 2010
- Summary: MALPASSE, HAITI (MAY 29, 2010) (REUTERS) JAPANESE UNITED NATIONS PEACEKEEPING TROOPS STANDING AT ATTENTION AT CEREMONY TO OPEN ROAD
- Embargoed: 14th June 2010 13:00
- Location: Haiti
- Country: Haiti
- Topics: International Relations,Disasters / Accidents / Natural catastrophes
- Reuters ID: LVADI2UTY0LIC5W098E9POKHBJPV
- Story Text: Japanese U.N. peacekeeping troops on Saturday (May 29) officially re-opened a major road connecting the Haitian capital to neighbouring Dominican Republic.
The Japanese peacekeepers had been carrying out essential maintenance work to the road, which connects Port-au-Prince to Santo Domingo, the capital of the Dominican Republic.
"This road is essential route connecting the capitals of Haiti and the Dominican Republic. Additionally, this is the main route for the movement of both nations and the transportation of various supplies. If this road was cut off, the serious impact might affect the lives of Haitian people," said Japanese Colonel Fukunaga Masashi, told troops and reporters at the opening ceremony.
Haiti's government says more than 300,000 people may have been killed in the earthquake described by some experts as the deadliest natural disaster in modern history.
It hit what was already the poorest country in the Western hemisphere.
Japan has given 70 million U.S. dollars in aid and sent military and civilian medical teams to the country.
Governments, multilateral institutions and non-governmental organisations around the world pledged nearly $10 billion for Haiti's reconstruction at a donor conference in March.
Japan is one of the world's most earthquake-prone nations, accounting for about 20 percent of the world's earthquakes of magnitude 6 or greater.
Japan was the world's biggest aid donor in the mid-1990s but its ailing economy and rapidly rising debt pushed it down to fifth place in 2008, according to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development.
Around 300 Japanese peacekeeping troops have been deployed to Haiti following the January 12 quake.
There are more than 12,000 U.N. peacekeeping troops in Haiti. The force is known as MINUSTAH.
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