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Haiti takes center stage at Davos

Catherine Bragg, assistant secretary general of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, speaks during a press conference on "The Situation of Haiti" at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, January 27, 2010.

TEXT OF INTERVIEW

Steve Chiotakis: The main topic this year at Davos has been rebuilding the global economy. But today much of the focus is on rebuilding Haiti. Catherine Bragg coordinates emergency relief efforts for the United Nations, and she's with us this morning from Davos. Thanks for being with us this morning.

Catherine Bragg: Thank you very much for having me on your program.

Chiotakis: What kind of reception are you getting in Davos? Are people sort of coming up to you and saying, you know, what can I do to help? I mean wha'ts going on there?

Bragg: I am actually very surprised by how central the whole Haitian situation is in the consciousness of people in Davos here. As soon as I registered, I was handed a pamphlet listing all the events that are related to Haiti. I myself have been invited to be in quite a few sessions that was not pre-planned.

Chiotakis: There's enormous power and a lot of money within earshot of you right now. I mean how do you harness all of that to get the best result?

Bragg: Well the sessions that have been organized around Haiti and around humanitarian action have been very well-attended. And these are the participants are the movers and the shakers of this world. And so our messages are getting directly to them unfiltered, which is an enormous occasion for us. And so we have been giving messages such as, we continue to need your financial support, we continue to need your engagement in terms of the expertise that only the private sector has, and we welcome any kind of partnership we can form in the future.

Chiotakis: To our listeners who aren't in Davos who don't have a whole lot of money to spare, how do they get involved?

Bragg: Every dollar is important, it is not just the big donors who are important. What I will suggest to anyone who wants to get involved is to open your heart and open your wallet, and there are established organizations -- such as the Red Cross -- who know what they're doing and they are involved at the moment in this relief effort. They can certainly use whatever contribution anyone can make -- even if it is just $1, even if it is just $5.

Chiotakis: Catherine Bragg, Assistant Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs at the United Nations. Miss Bragg, we do thank you for your time.

Bragg: You're most welcome.

About the author

Steve Chiotakis was the host of Marketplace Morning Report until January 2012.

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