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Brussels, 15 January 2010

Catherine Ashton: Rebuilding Haiti is a priority for the EU

On the eve of the meeting of Development Ministers on Monday in Brussels, Vice President and High Representative Catherine Ashton underlined the EU's determination to help Haiti in overcoming the consequences of the devastating earthquake. Ministers will discuss the EU's contribution to the short-term relief operation, but also in the forthcoming reconstruction efforts in the disaster area. On Wednesday next week, VP/HR Ashton will travel to the United States for meetings at the UN headquarters in New York and with the US Administration.

Vice President and High Representative Catherine Ashton said: "While we are making sure that Haiti receives the immediate and urgent support it needs, we also have to get ready for the very important next step in helping Haiti to rebuild the country. I am in close contact with our partners in Europe and beyond to coordinate these efforts. Together with the Spanish Presidency and Commissioner Karel de Gucht we have organised a meeting of development ministers which I will chair. I am absolutely committed to helping the people in Haiti. That is what the people of Haiti expect and they can count on us. Rebuilding Haiti is now a priority for the EU."

The European Commission has swiftly responded to the crisis by providing immediate assistance through its humanitarian aid department (ECHO), and the Monitoring and Information Centre for Civil Protection. The EU Member States are providing additional significant support. The Vice President/ High Representative continues to coordinate the different activities of the European Union with the EU Member States and the international community.

The immediate priority of these operations has been to deliver equipment to remove the debris, to dispatch search and rescue teams and to provide emergency health, water, field hospitals, tents, telecommunication and food supply. The EU has also indicated that it stands ready to provide other support for other areas.

The extraordinary meeting of Development Ministers will discuss the next steps of the EU activities in providing and funding additional post-emergency and reconstruction actions in Haiti.

The meeting will take place from 10:00 hrs to 12:30 hrs in the Justus Lipsius Building, followed by a press conference.

For more information on the issue see

-the EU coordinated response to the humanitarian crisis in Haiti:

-the European Civil Protection:

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