Globe and Mail

19/01/10

UN worker Renée Carrier is among those killed.

The death of two Canadian women working for the United Nations in Haiti have been confirmed, victims of the collapse of the UN mission offices after an earthquake hit Port-au-Prince a week ago.

Renée Carrier, from Saint-Paul-de-Montminy, Que., was a special assistant to the head of the UN mission, Hedi Annabi, another victim of the disaster.

Alexandra Duguay, from Quebec City, was a spokeswoman for the mission.

Ms. Duguay’s boyfriend, Marc-André Franche, also worked at the mission but survived. Ms. Duguay had been spotted by an eyewitness witness inside the UN headquarters in Port-au-Prince just before the building collapsed.

“The body of our beautiful Alexandra was found around midnight. It appears she died in the first minutes after the quake,” her mother wrote in a post on Facebook.

An hour before Ms. Duguay’s remains were recovered, Ms. Carrier’s death had been announced last night to UN staff, in an internal e-mail that confirmed the death of four officials, three of them aides to Mr. Annabi.

Their deaths, that of Mr. Annabi and of his No. 2, Luiz Carlos da Costa, and of the mission’s police commissioner, RCMP Superintendent Doug Coates, testified to the quake’s crippling impact of the UN mission.

Ms. Carrier was a 30-year veteran administrator long involved in peacekeeping operations.

She had been in previous field missions in Haiti, Western Sahara and Eritrea.

She also worked at UN headquarters in New York. She is remembered as a diminutive, dynamic woman with the work ethics and tactfulness required for peacekeeping missions.

Ms. Carrier had gone to Haiti at the special request of Mr. Annabi.

She had told friend she was looking forward to retiring in a few years and moving back to Quebec.

Ms. Duguay, 31, went to Haiti about a year ago for what was to be a two-year stint at the UN. The Quebecker was committed to international aid work and had recently started helping support a Quebec-run orphanage in the port city of Les Cayes.

“She went to Haiti to help people in need,” her mother said. “Nothing on earth can replace Alexandra. She is a beautiful, gentle person.”