Bernard Kouchner will visit Haiti on Saturday, September 25, and Sunday, September 26. This visit, which is taking place a little over 7 months since President Sarkozy’s visit, will allow us to renew France’s active solidarity with this country. The minister’s third visit to Haiti in a year will also provide an opportunity to evaluate the aid implemented by France.
During a meeting with President René Préval, the minister will have the opportunity to assure the Haitian authorities of France’s continued action and solidarity in support of reconstruction. The commitments taken by President Sarkozy have been met and implemented on the ground: assistance for reestablishing the capacities of the Haitian State, assistance for relaunching the education system, and major projects in the health sector in particular.
The minister will go the University Hospital of the State of Haiti which was severely damaged by the earthquake. Together with the Haitian Minister of Health and the U.S. Ambassador, Bernard Kouchner will inaugurate the rehabilitation and reconstruction work of the main hospital in Port-au-Prince. This $50 million project will be carried out in partnership with the Haitians and the Americans. On September 20 in New York, the minister signed with Mrs. Clinton a partnership agreement for the reconstruction of this hospital.
During a working meeting with Ronald Baudin, Haitian Minister of Economy and Finance, Bernard Kouchner will sign an agreement for the payment of the second portion of the €20 million in French budgetary aid for 2010. A payment of €5 million in direct budgetary aid was made in April. A further 20 million is planned for 2011.
With a view toward the presidential and parliamentary elections which will take place on November 28, Bernard Kouchner will reaffirm France’s support for the OAS/CARICOM Electoral Observation Mission (financial support and provision of 15 observers). These elections must be free, transparent and fair.
The minister will meet representatives of the French community and will bestow the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs’ medal on the French Embassy officials who have demonstrated exemplary dedication to duty since the disaster in the presence of a detachment of French gendarmes from the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti. In addition, the minister will inaugurate the new Institut français buildings in Port-au-Prince.
Lastly, Bernard Kouchner will have the opportunity to meet with the main French NGOs present in Haiti during a working dinner.
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