Rebuilding Haiti is a Priority for the European Union

Jan 15, 2010, 14:04 ET from Delegation of the European Commission to the U.S.

WASHINGTON, Jan. 15 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- On the  eve of the meeting of Development Ministers on Monday in Brussels, European Commission Vice President and EU High  Representative for Foreign Affairs Catherine Ashton underlined the EU's  determination to help Haiti in overcoming the consequences  of the devastating earthquake. Ministers will discuss the EU's contribution to the short-term relief operation, but also in the forthcoming reconstruction efforts in the disaster area. On Wednesday next week, VP/HR Ashton will travel  to the United States for meetings at the UN headquarters in New York and  with the U.S. Administration in Washington, DC.

"While we  are making sure that Haiti receives the immediate and urgent support it needs,  we also have to get ready for the very important next step in helping Haiti to  rebuild the country," said Vice President and High Representative Ashton. "I am  in close contact with our partners in Europe and beyond to coordinate these efforts. Together with the Spanish Presidency and  [Development and Humanitarian Aid Commissioner] Karel de Gucht we have organized a meeting of development ministers which I will chair. I am absolutely committed  to helping the people in Haiti. That is what the people of  Haiti expect and they can count on us. Rebuilding Haiti is now a priority for the EU."

The European Commission has swiftly responded to the crisis by providing immediate assistance through its humanitarian aid department (ECHO), and the Monitoring  and Information Centre for Civil Protection. The EU Member States are providing  additional significant support. The Vice President/ High Representative continues to coordinate the different activities of the European Union with the EU Member States and the international community.

The  immediate priority of these operations has been to deliver equipment to remove  the debris, to dispatch search and rescue teams and to provide emergency health, water, field hospitals, tents, telecommunication and food supply. The EU has also indicated that it stands ready to provide other support for other areas.

The extraordinary meeting of Development Ministers will discuss the next steps of  the EU activities in providing and funding additional post-emergency and  reconstruction actions in Haiti.

The  meeting will take place in Brussels from 10:00 am to 12:30 pm and a press  conference will follow.

For more  information on the issue see:

- the EU  coordinated response to the humanitarian crisis in Haiti:

-the  European Civil Protection:

Delegation of the European Union to the  United  States

2300 M Street, NW, Washington, DC 20037

SOURCE Delegation of the European Commission to the U.S.