The International Donors’ Conference Towards a New Future for Haiti is to take place on Wednesday, 31 March at the United Nations Headquarters in New York. It has been organized by the UN and United States along with the government of Haiti. The conference is co-chaired by Brazil, Canada, Spain, France and the European Union.
France will be represented by her Minister of Foreign and European Affairs, Bernard Kouchner. The Minister will attend a working breakfast hosted for the co-chairs by the US Secretary of State in the presence of Haitian President, René Préval. Following the opening of the conference, Bernard Kouchner will speak as co-chair and then attend the presentation of reports on the preparatory conferences. After the working lunch hosted by the UN Secretary-General, the Minister will chair the session devoted to financial commitments and take part in the co-chairs’ press conference. He will also have separate meetings, notably with Charles Michel, Belgian Cooperation Minister, and Helen Clark, Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme.
The aim of this conference is to mobilize international aid to meet the development needs of Haiti. The Haitian government will present its vision for the future and explain how international aid can help achieve it. Countries, international organizations and other partners will have the opportunity of contributing resources, coordinating their support for the "Action Plan for the Reconstruction and National Development of Haiti" and engage in sustained effort to support that country. The Minister will recall France’s position of principle on the reconstruction of Haiti: driven by the Haitians for the Haitians; based on a long-term vision with a view to changing the criteria for town and country planning in Haiti; and supported by a highly coordinated group of donors.
At France’s initiative, this donors’ conference has been preceded by four preparatory meetings. In Port-au-Prince, Washington, Brussels and Fort-de-France, private companies, diasporas, local government authorities and NGOs have met to draw up proposals, which will be presented at UN Headquarters.
Since the earthquake France has made huge efforts to help Haiti and has already announced a plan to assist the country’s reconstruction and financial aid of €326 million over two years:
cancellation of her bilateral debt to France (€56 million),
budgetary aid (€40 million),
aid in kind (essentially supply of vehicles - €40 million),
additional project aid (€100 million)
French share of EU €330 million allocation (€65 million),
emergency aid (€25 million).
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