Press Releases, 4/1/2010
Finland to provide 12.7 million euros for Haitian reconstruction
Press release 98/2010
31 March 2010
Finland will provide a total of 12.7 million euros for Haitian reconstruction in the next few years. Under-Secretary of State Ritva Koukku-Ronde of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs announced Finland’s support at the conference on reconstruction of Haiti held in New York on 31 March.
The aid coming from Finland includes 2.5 million euros in support each year for Haitian reconstruction during the years 2010–2013. In addition, Finland will participate in cancellation of 2.7 million euros worth of Haiti’s debts. Of the debt relief, about 2 million euros is credit granted through the International Development Association (IDA) subordinate to the World Bank and 0.7 million euros is credit granted through the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).
Including the humanitarian aid already granted, Finland’s overall input to the reconstruction of Haiti comes to 18.1 million euros, which is a remarkable sum in view of Finland’s development aid funds. Moreover, Finnish NGOs have already collected more than 6 million euros to assist Haiti.
Under-Secretary of State Koukku-Ronde stresses implementation of the principles of sustainable development and good governance in the reconstruction of Haiti. Haiti must be built to be strong not only in the country’s infrastructure but also in the state’s administration. Finland considers it central that investments focus, among others, on education, strengthening of the private sector, renewable energy, sustainable use of forests, and agriculture to ensure better food supply.
At the conference, President René Preval of Haiti stated that the international support is a show of fraternity that can lead to realisation of the dream of a better world. Although there is much to do in every sector, Haiti now intends to invest particularly in education, because education of the population is the base for all development and economic growth.
In her address, EU High Representative Catherine Ashton stated that the EU Member States and the Commission jointly pledge a total of 1.2 billion euros for reconstruction. According to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the United States will give 1.5 billion dollars, or about 1.1 billion euros, in aid.
Additional information: Deputy Director General Pekka Puustinen, Department for the Americas and Asia, tel. +358 9 1605 5694, mobile tel. +358 40 481 9892, Juha Virtanen, Head of the Unit for Latin America and the Caribbean, tel. +358 9 1605 6360, mobile tel. +358 40 480 6057 (reconstruction aid) and Adviser Nina Kataja, tel. +358 9 1605 5036 (debt relief)