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lundi 10 août 2009

Communiqué de presse du bureau de l'Envoyé spécial.

Office of the

Special Envoy for haiti

President Clinton Announces Trade Mission to Haiti in his Address to the Second Annual Congress of the Haitian Diaspora

Miami, 9 August 2009 - President Bill Clinton addressed an audience of hundreds of participants today at the Second Annual Congress of the Haitian Diaspora. In his remarks, he reiterated his commitment to assist the people and Government of Haiti as they expand job opportunities and essential services in their country. As part of this mission, President Clinton continues to encourage international private sector investment in Haiti, and today announced his plans to travel to Haiti on a trade mission in October 2009 with international investors.

In his first public address to the Haitian diaspora in his capacity as UN Special Envoy for Haiti, President Clinton invited audience members to expand their work and collaboration.

"Given the leadership of President Préval and Prime Minister Pierre-Louis and Haitian Parliamentarians, the promise of the HOPE II legislation passed last year by the United States Congress, the recent $1.2 billion in debt relief from the international community, and the strong commitment of the Haitian people, we have a unique opportunity to act now to reclaim Haiti's proud past while shaping a better future," said President Clinton.

On the need for donors to disburse their pledges expeditiously, President Clinton reminded the international community that too much is at stake for governments not to honor their commitments. "Every single day a child is hungry; a parent comes home without a job; a mother dies in child-birth, a community is uprooted by a storm, the window of opportunity we have today closes a little more," President Clinton added.

Today he also announced that:

• The Soros Economic Development Fund has launched the Haiti Invest Project, an equity-investment program with an initial commitment of up to $25 million. Haiti Invest already has approached potential partners in an effort to significantly expand this initial capitalization by a factor of six, up to $150 million, and it is considering investments in garment manufacturing, agriculture, logistics, tourism, energy, and housing.

• Michael Carey, an Irish businessman, and a group of Irish businesspeople who recently established the Soul of Haiti Foundation after a number of visits to Haiti, have offered to host a delegation of Haitian businesspeople for a visit to Ireland, in October.

• James Lee Witt, former Director of FEMA, who traveled with President Clinton to Haiti in July 2009, has committed $250,000 to provide disaster preparedness training for women in Haiti. The Witt team is scheduled to visit Port-au-Prince and possible training sites on a fact-finding mission in the next 10 days. The UN is assisting this effort and identifying partners in civil society and the Government to ensure that the new training programs do not duplicate or undermine existing initiatives.

• Desh Deshpande, who traveled with President Clinton to Haiti in March 2009 and is a member of the Clinton Global Initiative, has offered to share technical assistance to expand school feeding in Haiti. The Deshpande Foundation and the Akshaya Patra Foundation run a school-feeding project in India that currently provides hot, nutritious, daily meals to one million children across India.

• Rolando Gonzalez Bunster, of Basic Energy Ltd, has offered to install initially 5 windmills totaling 8 MW. These new Vestas windmills are unassembled in the Dominican Republic and could provide renewable energy at competitive prices in Haiti within a few months.

In closing, President Clinton asked the Haitian Diaspora to use their influence to project the real face of Haiti to the international community -- the challenges as well as the tremendous opportunities. He urged the international community to view Haiti as a country poised to reclaim its future.

For further information, please contact:

Jehane Sedky, Office of the Special Envoy for Haiti,, 212 729 8257

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