Monday, March 22, 2010

EU Pledges A Billion Euros For Haiti Relief Effort

Catherine Ashton, EU Foreign Affairs Chief

BRUSSELS - EUROPE will pledge a billion euros (S$1.9 billion) to help reconstruction in quake-hit Haiti at a donor's conference in New York next week, EU foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton said on Monday.

'There is a recognition that it's going to be a very important contribution' Ms Ashton told reporters during EU foreign ministers' talks in Brussels, announcing the funding which will come both from the European Commission and from the individual EU nations.

Ms Ashton, who recently visited the stricken Caribbean country, said this was 'long-term development aid' to stand alongside the emergency humanitarian aid already offered.

The announcement came ahead of the Haiti donors' talks in New York on March 31.

The meeting's preparatory committee has proposed giving Haiti more than US$4 billion in reconstruction funds.

At the conference, Haiti will outline its long-term needs as it tries to rebuild from the 7.0 magnitude quake on Jan 12 that killed more than 220,000 people and left more than a

million homeless. -- AFP

Source: StraitsTimes

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