Secretary Clinton Signs Two Memoranda of Understanding on Haiti Recovery Projects

Posted by DipNote Bloggers
September 21, 2010

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton joined partners in signing two Memoranda of Understanding on Haiti recovery projects. The first memorandum commemorates the partnership with the Government of Haiti to invest in an industrial park in the Port-au-Prince region, and the second memorandum commemorates the partnership with the Government of Haiti, the United States, and France in the rebuilding of the General University Hospital in Port-au-Prince.

Secretary Clinton said, "In the wake of the terrible quake, many spoke about the need, not only to rebuild what was lost, but to fundamentally re-imagine the Haitian landscape by building a stronger economy, better infrastructure, and a sturdier social system, not just in Port-au-Prince but nationwide.

"And the two MOUs that have been signed today will support that effort. They will encourage progress in two areas that are key to Haiti's long-term recovery: creating jobs and providing a foundation for rebuilding the country's health system."

Regarding the first Memorandum of Understanding between the Government of Haiti, the United States Government, the Inter-American Development Bank, the International Finance Corporation, and Sae-A Trading Company, the Secretary said, "[It] is designed to establish an industrial park and a garment manufacturing operation in Haiti with the potential to create more than 10,000 permanent jobs. And these are not just any jobs; these are good jobs with fair pay that adhere to international labor standards. And the impact on Haiti's economy has enormous potential for being significant and sending a message that Haiti is open for business again.

"And we look forward to working with our partners in the private sector to leverage capital and create these jobs, and with them, the better lives that Haitians are seeking for themselves and their families."

With Haitian Prime Minister Jean-Max Bellerive and the French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner, Secretary Clinton signed the second Memorandum of Understanding that commits each government to help rebuilding the central public hospital for Port-au-Prince. She said, "Since January 12th, it has been serving thousands of people, even though it is crippled by physical damage, limited equipment, limited electrical and other critical services. The United States and France will each invest $25 million to rebuild this hospital, to create a facility that meets the needs of the Haitian people, and the Haitian Government will contribute $3.2 million in funding.

"This work is important and there is no time to waste. As we saw on the front page of the New York Times today, people are suffering. They need jobs, they need health care, they need us -- their own government and the international community -- to follow through on our promises and translate our good intentions to real concrete progress on the ground.

"I'm looking forward to the upcoming session of the Interim Haiti Recovery Commission. It is very important to keep in mind what both the prime minister and the foreign minister said, that the extent of the devastation was enormous, and those who expect progress immediately are unrealistic and doing a disservice to the many people who are working so hard. But to expect less than concerted effort every day that produces results would be a great tragedy."

In closing, Secretary Clinton said, "So we will work hard with all of you, and we especially thank our private sector partners and the financing teams that have put together the first memorandum. And we look forward to seeing the progress that can come with the second memorandum in a tangible demonstration of our commitment to the Haitian people."

Read the Secretary's full remarks here.

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