European Commission - Press release
Commissioner Piebalgs visits Haiti: "The EU keeps delivering on its promises to help Haitians to build a better future"
Brussels, 05 March 2012 - Tomorrow, EU Development Commissioner, Andris Piebalgs, will arrive in Haiti for a two day visit of the country. In line with the EU's commitment to help Haiti's reconstruction in the long term, he will announce an aid package which will enable Haitians to better access functioning basic services, including health, education and security. The aid package also aims to invest in economic development by improving Haitian infrastructure and increasing its support to rebuilding the State's capacity to provide services to Haitians.
Commissioner Piebalgs will be the first Commissioner to meet with the new Haitian President, Michel Martelly. He will also hold talks with senior government ministers, Members of Parliament and civil society representatives, as well as inaugurate and visit several EU funded projects.
Prior to his departure, Commissioner Piebalgs said: "The European Union has lived up to its promises in delivering life-saving and long-term assistance to Haiti, whose recovery remains at the top of our priorities." He added: "Our ambition is now to accelerate the reconstruction and development process. There are still substantial challenges to address for which good governance, political stability and effective planning are key elements for success. To this end, we are launching, together with the Haitian authorities, a plan for the two years to come, focusing on bringing more help to the people who need it most."
During his visit, Commissioner Piebalgs will also inaugurate the road section between Mirebalais and Hinche and lay the first stone of the section between Hinche and Cap Haïtien; part of the new 200km road between Port-au-Prince and Cap Haïtien (Haiti's second largest city). Thanks to this road, the journey between the cities which used to take eight hours, will now be reduced to three hours.
In Hinche, the Commissioner will also inaugurate the Court - a concrete example of judicial cooperation – a primary school and pedagogical centre (EFACAP) – which offers training for teachers.
Haiti faces a multitude of structural development challenges; not least because of the damage and human suffering caused by tropical storms, the food crisis of 2008, the earthquake that struck in January 2010 and, very recently, the outbreak of a cholera epidemic.
After the earthquake in 2010, the EU made a single pledge amounting to €1.235 billion, pooling contributions from the European Commission, 18 EU Member States and the European Investment Bank (EIB). The European Commission alone pledged €522 million and has already committed around 75% of it. The aid package that Commissioner Piebalgs will announce during his visit is worth €100 million.
In line with the Haitian authorities' priorities, the Commission's development priorities focus on improving the main infrastructure, supporting the state and the delivery of basic social services.
It also contributed - and will continue to contribute - to ensuring food security and to supporting the re-launch of the economy and helping people to get their lives back to normal.
The Commission carries out joint programming of aid with other EU donors to enable a more efficient division of the tasks. Some Member States chose to be active in other areas, in order to complement the Commission's work.
Fact sheet "Haiti two years on" and other press materials available here:
Website of DG Development and Cooperation – EuropeAid
Website of the EU Development Commissioner, Andris Piebalgs
Website of the EU Delegation in Haiti:
Catherine Ray (+32 2 296 99 21)
Wojtek Talko (+32 2 297 85 51)