Statement by the Spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs
Two years ago, in the wake of one of the worst earthquakes in recent history, France, together with its 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 February 17, 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 2 years, in accordance with the commitments undertaken. 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 March 31, 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 it 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 meters 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 May 15, France continues to stand alongside the Haitian people. Its assistance is still being provided, notably:
— through the construction in Port-au-Prince of a hospital equipped with the best facilities, in partnership with the United States;
— through the reconstruction of two neighborhoods of the capital, in cooperation with the EU;
— 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, the training of police officers;
— through the resumption of agricultural development projects.
France will continue its action in close collaboration with the new Haitian government, the UN and MINUSTAH, the other donors, and all of the French non-governmental actors: NGOs, companies, local authorities, the Haitian diaspora and universities.
Learn more on Haiti.