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Brussels, 22 March 2010

Haiti's reconstruction: Commissioner Piebalgs hosts a one-day conference with NGOs

Commissioner Andris Piebalgs will host tomorrow a one-day conference to discuss the reconstruction process in Haiti. The event brings together around 50 NGOs from Haiti, Europe and the US, as well as representatives of the Haitian government. It is part of the preparatory work and consultations of the Donors' community on the way to the International Donors' Conference 'Towards a new Future for Haiti' that will take place in New York next 31 March. The aim is to identify joint priorities and discuss how best to combine NGO activities in Haiti with the government's overall national recovery and development strategy. On 23rd March, Commissioner Piebalgs will also launch a dialogue with civil society and local authorities on their role in European development policy.

"The reconstruction of Haiti must be a joint effort by all actors at all levels. It won't be solely solved by aid coming from the official authorities and the international institutions; the role of NGOs which bring their resources and expertise is also instrumental. Tomorrow's conference for the rebuilding of Haiti will thus make it possible to define the priorities to align the initiatives of NGOs with the Haitian government's strategy," said Development Commissioner Andris Piebalgs.

Following the 12 January earthquake in Haiti, international assistance has been mobilised on an unprecedented scale. For the launch of the reconstruction phase in Haiti, the European Commission deployed a first 100 millions euro envelope for governmental buildings, schools, roads and technical assistance on 2 March. The €100 million is the first tranche of more than € 300 million committed by the Commission to Haiti.

Now, the challenges facing the state and people of Haiti for reconstruction require a consolidated response that brings together the efforts of the national authorities, civil society, donors, NGOs and the private sector. The EU has a long history of development cooperation in Haiti and a strong tradition of involving and working with civil society. During tomorrow's conference, the European Commission and the participating European, US and Haitian NGOs will be trying to achieve four objectives:

  • to define the priority needs in Haiti which NGOs should tackle,

  • to formulate the role of NGOs within this framework,

  • to align the efforts of NGOs and ensure compatibility with the Haitian government's priorities

  • and to obtain a consensus between organisations on their respective roles.

Civil society is a vital part of the European Commission's development cooperation worldwide. On 23 March, Commissioner Piebalgs will also launch a Structured Dialogue with civil society and local authorities to further increase their contribution to EC development cooperation by:

  • Building consensus on the main issues to be addressed concerning the role of civil society organizations and local and regional authorities in development policy

  • Finding ways to improve the effectiveness of their involvement in cooperation with the European Commission and to adapt Commission's modalities accordingly.

The Dialogue is a global, multi-level process, articulated around live events and on-line discussions. The stakeholders involved are expected to share information and knowledge, and build mutual understanding and trust. Starting with the launch event in Brussels on 23rd March, the Dialogue will go on – at conferences and on the web - until the closing conference next spring 2011.

To help NGOs/civil society organisations and local authorities access EC development funding, EuropeAid, the European Commission's cooperation office set up a database for Potential Applicant Data On-line Registration (PADOR) in 2007. Thanks to PADOR, organisations responding to calls for proposals need to submit their information and supporting documents only once. PADOR also makes information about organisations seeking subsidies more readily available. More than 23 000 organisations have registered to date.

In addition, the European Commission is setting up a Civil Society Helpdesk (CISOCH) to process information about and for civil society. This Helpdesk will be a one-stop shop for all questions on cooperation between EuropeAid and civil society – making procedures, vocabulary, work methods, etc. easier to understand.

More info:

EU Delegation in Haiti:

EC Cooperation programmes with Haiti:

Structured Dialogue:


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