In recognition of his dedication to
helping Haiti recover and rebuild in the aftermath of the earthquake on 12th
January, Digicel owner and Chairman, Denis O’Brien has been named as a goodwill
ambassador for the city of Port-au-Prince.
The honour was bestowed on Mr.
O’Brien by the mayor of Port-au-Prince, Jean Yves Jason and the deputy mayor,
Nadeje Augustin on Tuesday 9 February.
Since the earthquake, Mr. O’Brien
has been instrumental in efforts to attract much-needed aid relief to the
stricken country as well as to encourage businesses to consider Haiti as an
ideal place for foreign direct investment.
“In my role as goodwill ambassador for the
city of Port-au-Prince, I promise to do everything in my power to ensure that
the plight of the people of Haiti is kept front of mind across the globe. I
would like to thank the mayor and the deputy mayor for this honour,” said Mr.
“Over the last few weeks, we have seen a
massive worldwide outpouring of sympathy and support, but much more is needed,”
He observed the challenge is to
achieve significant and sustained foreign investment and to ensure that this
money is channelled into the right projects and succeeds in making a tangible
positive long term difference.
“With the right focus and planning,
together, we can help Haiti to rise again,” he said.
Mr. Jason noted that Denis O’Brien has been a
huge supporter of his country since before Digicel’s 2006 launch in Haiti.
“He has worked tirelessly to ensure a better
standard of living for our people through the provision of housing, educational
facilities and programmes,” he said.
“He is very much the right person
to help us to rebuild and to look to the future in a positive way. We are
delighted that he has accepted this role and look forward to working together
closely for the long-term benefit of the Haitian people.”
With a total investment of over
U$300 million in Haiti since its launch in 2006, Digicel has over two million
customers in Haiti. The Digicel Haiti Relief Fund has donated US$5 million to
NGOs in Haiti to support the relief efforts and to date over US$800,000 has
been raised by Digicel customers across the Caribbean and Central America
through a text and voice donation line. Digicel also gave each of its two
million customers US$5 in free credit – totalling US$10 million.