Yesterday, Secretary Clinton met with Haitian Prime Minister Michele Duvivier Pierre-Louis. After their meeting, Secretary Clinton said:"I want to state to you, Prime Minister, how impressed and grateful we are for the leadership that you and President Preval have shown.
We have seen a tremendous commitment by the Government of Haiti in the face of tremendous difficulties, most particularly four hurricanes in one year. It’s almost impossible to even imagine. But the government has come forth with a recovery plan that lays out very clear priorities, which we intend to work with the Government of Haiti and the people of Haiti, with businesses, NGOs, academics, the religious community, as well as other international partners to address. This is important not only for the people of Haiti, but for all the people of our region. You know, our lives are linked in so many ways, and we share a common space and a common future.
At the Haiti Donors Conference yesterday, officials of the Haitian Government and the international community discussed the plan that the Haitian Government has put forth. This will respond to Haiti’s short-term reconstruction needs while addressing the longer-term development goals. We appreciated the prime minister’s leadership at the conference and the constructive engagement of Haiti’s government. They have set realistic and achievable goals.
And I assured the prime minister again today that the United States will remain a committed partner throughout this process. The Obama Administration is very willing to work with you, Prime Minister. And as an expression of our commitment, I announced at the conference the United States will provide more than $280 million in assistance to Haiti in 2009.
During my visit tomorrow, I will be meeting with President Preval and other officials, and I look forward to working with both the president and the prime minister. We want to help Haiti because Haiti deserves our help.
Haiti was making tremendous progress until the national disasters so tragically and unfairly interrupted that progress. In 2007, Haiti had the highest rate of GDP growth since the ‘90s, and there was no doubt Haiti was on the right track. Things happen. Hurricanes happen. But we think by focusing on security, job creation, infrastructure development, sustainable agriculture, we’re going to be able to help the people and the Government of Haiti. And it’s a great honor for me to be standing here with the prime minister."