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Brussels, 30 March 2010

EU pledges over 1.2 billion euros at International Donors' Conference 'Towards a New Future for Haiti' in New York

EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Commission Vice-President, Catherine Ashton along with Commissioner for Development, Andris Piebalgs and Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response, Kristalina Georgieva will attend the ministerial-level International Donors’ Conference "Towards a New Future for Haiti" that will take place on March 31 at the UN Headquarters in New York. The Conference will be co-chaired by Brazil, Canada, the European Union, France, and Spain as leading donors to Haiti.

The first goal of the donor conference is to secure the foundation for Haiti’s recovery and reconstruction through pledges from all sources – public, private, non-governmental and multilateral institutions – to meet the $3.8 billion required over the next two years. Secondly, the EU delegation will stress the need for a long-term strategy over the next ten years to complete the Post Disaster Needs Assessment (PDNA) projects to rebuild the country which it is estimated will cost in the region €10 billion.

EU High Representative/Vice-President Catherine Ashton said: "This earthquake has been a terrible tragedy, but it has galvanized a tremendous global response. The European Union's Member States and the European Commission have come together and as a result, I can announce that the EU will contribute over 1.2 billion euros to Haiti's reconstruction and development process. But the EU recognizes that re-building Haiti also implies long-term commitment on the part of its development partners. Therefore, I and my fellow Commissioners will stress the need for a 10-year economic plan to be put in place to allow the Haitian people recover from this tragedy and emerge stronger to face a better future that they clearly deserve."

European citizens and civil society organizations have shown their solidarity and overwhelming support for Haiti by jointly mobilizing more than €600 million to support relief and rebuilding.

During their visit to New York, the EU delegation will meet with United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki Moon and High Representative Catherine Ashton will hold a bilateral meeting with U.S. Secretary of State Hilary Clinton.

The background:

The European Union provided fast-track humanitarian aid for Haiti immediately after the earthquake struck with more than €300 million provided by the Commission and EU Member States for relief efforts in the country. The European Union's Civil Protection Mechanism was activated speedily to help coordinate the work of EU Member States in mobilising civil protection assets, including search and rescue teams. A further €100 million was allocated to help restore government capacity and a package of €200 million was announced for longer term reconstruction and rehabilitation.

After the first reaction to the catastrophe, the UN has organised a ministerial-level International Donors’ Conference Towards a New Future for Haiti that will take place on March 31, 2010 in New York at UN Headquarters. Member states of the UN can register national pledges of assistance to Haiti. Private sector donors and others will have alternative opportunities to register their offers of assistance.

Conference preparations included a series of outreach consultations with Haitian civil society (over the preceding weeks, organized by the United Nation’s Office of the UN Special Envoy to Haiti, MINUSTAH, NGO’s, and local community groups), the private sector (March 15, in Haiti, organized by the Inter-American Development Bank), the Haitian Diaspora (March 21-23, in Washington, D.C., organized by the Organization of American States), Haitian state and local government (March 23, in Martinique, organized by the Government of France), stakeholders to MINUSTAH (March 23, in New York, organized by the Government of Brazil and the Government of Haiti), and non-governmental organizations (March 25, in New York) organized by the Office of the UN Special Envoy to Haiti and Commissioner Georgieva. Commissioner Piebalgs hosted a similar event in Brussels on 23rd of March. On that occasion, around 50 NGOs from Haiti, Europe and the US, as well as representatives of the Haitian government discussed on how best to combine NGO activities in Haiti with the government's overall national recovery and development strategy.

For additional information see memo: MEMO/10/113

The event:

Conference "Towards a New Future for Haiti" New York at UN Headquarters

There will be a joint press conference of VP/HR Ashton and Commissioners Piebalgs and Georgieva at 11.30 (local time) in the UN Headquartes

Available on EbS. A team of EBS will cover the event.

The sources:

High Representative/Commission Vice-President's website:

Commissioner Piebalgs' website:

Commissioner Georgieva website:

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