Latin America & Caribbean

Senegal to fly in 160 Haiti quake students for studies

A student walks past damaged buildings in Haiti's capital Port-au-Prince. Photo: October 2010
Image caption Haiti - the western hemisphere's poorest nation - is still recovering from the earthquake

Senegal is to take 160 Haitian students, victims of January's deadly quake, to allow them to continue their studies in Senegal's universities.

Officials in Dakar say a chartered flight will leave Senegal on Sunday and return with the students next week.

The move is part of a promise made by Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade earlier this year.

More than 222,570 people died and some 2.3m were displaced after the earthquake hit Haiti on 12 January.

Mamadou Seye, a spokesman for Senegal's Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, said on Friday that the chartered flight would bring the Haitian students to Dakar next Wednesday. Haitian President Rene Preval and his wife would be accompanying the students.

Mr Seye said that President Wade had already asked Senegalese families to host the students when they arrive.

The spokesman added that Mr Wade considered the students the sons and daughters of Africa because their ancestors had been taken to the Caribbean as slaves.

Both Haiti and Senegal are former French colonies.

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