Haiti/continued mobilization of France
Two years ago, in the wake of one of the worst earthquakes in recent history, France, together with her partners, including the United States, Canada and Brazil, initiated unprecedented mobilization efforts to assist the Haitian people and make a contribution to Haiti’s reconstruction. President Sarkozy visited Haiti on 17 February 2010 to express France’s solidarity with the Haitian people.
These efforts have continued over the course of the last two years, in a period characterized both by a long political transition in Haiti and by new emergency situations, such as the threat of hurricanes and the cholera epidemic.
The situation is beginning to improve on the ground, despite these problems.
A total of $5.6 billion has been transferred to Haiti over a period of almost two years, in accordance with the commitments made. At the end of 2011, $2.4 billion had been disbursed out of the $4.5 billion in reconstruction aid pledged at the conference in New York on 31 March 2010. In addition to that there’s a further $650 million and $2.6 billion in humanitarian assistance.
Haiti also benefited from a debt write-off of $1 billion.
For our part, we have upheld the commitments made by President Sarkozy in Port-au-Prince a few weeks after the earthquake (€326 million, with our portion of European aid). Almost three-quarters of our bilateral aid has been disbursed according to the priorities that were identified. France actively participates in the work of the Steering Committee of the Haiti Reconstruction Fund (HRF), of which she is a member.
Two-thirds of those who sought refuge in the camps have been able to find housing. Half of the 10 million cubic metres of rubble has been cleared; a fifth of this rubble has been recycled.
As the Ministre d’Etat reaffirmed during his visit to Haiti on 15 May 2011, France continues to stand alongside the Haitian people. Her assistance is still being provided, notably:
through the construction in Port-au-Prince of a hospital provided with the best equipment, in partnership with the United States;
through the reconstruction of two neighbourhoods of the capital, in cooperation with the European Union;
through the strengthening of educational and training initiatives: the admission of 700 Haitian students over two school years, the sending of some 80 service civique [volunteer corps] personnel and an online distance-learning project;
through administrative cooperation with support for the compiling of a land registry and the training of police officers;
through the resumption of agricultural development projects.
France will continue her action in close collaboration with the new Haitian government, the United Nations and MINUSTAH, the other donors, and all the French non-governmental actors: NGOs, companies, local authorities, the Haitian diaspora and universities./.