Earthquake in Haiti: France’s efforts

Earthquake in Haiti – Allocation of €10 million to the United Nations emergency appeal – Communiqué issued by Bernard Kouchner, Minister of Foreign and European Affairs

Paris, 18 January 2010

Continuing her active efforts to help the Haitian population suffering so terribly from the 12 January earthquake, France has decided to respond to the emergency appeal for Haiti launched by the United Nations on Friday, 16 January with a contribution of €10 million.


Earthquake in Haiti – Participation in a teleconference by Bernard Kouchner, Minister of Foreign and European Affairs – Statement by the Foreign and European Affairs Ministry Spokesman

Paris, 18 January 2010

During a conference call initiated by his Canadian opposite number, Bernard Kouchner, Minister of Foreign and European Affairs, talked to Haitian Prime Minister Jean-Max Bellerive, American Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Canadian Foreign Minister Lawrence Cannon, Brazilian Foreign Minister Celso Amorim, other members of the Group of Friends of Haiti and Alain Le Roy, United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations.

They assessed the situation and Haitian people’s needs and reaffirmed their resolve to work together, pooling efforts in close coordination with the United Nations.

They agreed on the need rapidly to prepare the reconstruction and offer a positive way forward for a traumatized Haitian population, and mobilize all the international community’s players, including States, aid donors, the international financial institutions, NGOs and companies, on the basis of a coherent strategy.

With this in mind, Bernard Kouchner urged the necessity to take account of every dimension of the reconstruction, including in particular the essential strengthening of the capacity of the Haitian government.

This requires an international conference capable of bringing together all those of goodwill; a first preparatory meeting will be held in Montreal on 25 January.

Bernard Kouchner has also had telephone conversations with several of his European opposite numbers and Catherine Ashton, European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, with whom he discussed the necessity of stepping up the European Union’s emergency humanitarian aid effort in Haiti, delivery of the aid and support for the United Nations in ensuring security.


Earthquake in Haiti – Update on French effort – Communiqué issued by the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs

Paris, 18 January 2010

As soon as she learned of the earthquake at 10.53 p.m. on 12 January, France immediately mobilized to deploy civilian and military personnel on the ground to come to the aid of the Haitian people and assist the 1,400 French nationals living in Haiti.

1. Personnel and equipment deployed

246 rescuers, 235 support and command personnel, 29 gendarmes and 9 dogs are deployed, with 130 tonnes of equipment.

The French search-and-rescue and rubble-clearing teams have already worked on 8 sites and are currently working on a new one. They have located and extricated from the rubble 13 survivors. A field hospital (70 people, 33 tonnes), an advanced medical unit (70 people, 6 tonnes) and 10 mobile medical teams are currently at work in Port-au-Prince.

A water purification unit has been installed capable of supplying up to 20,000 people a day. A sécurité civile [emergency services] helicopter is assisting the rescuers.

3 military planes are making daily round trips between Haiti and the French West Indies and have already delivered 27.5 tonnes of equipment and emergency supplies (food and drinking water) to Port-au-Prince. In addition France has decided to make a €2 million exceptional food allocation.

These deployments were made rapidly thanks to the efficiency and excellent spirit of cooperation of the American air traffic control authorities at Port-au-Prince airport.

2. French community

Since the onset of the crisis, nearly 10,000 calls have been made to the crisis centre’s special Haiti situation telephone numbers. In response to these calls and thanks to the work of the teams on the ground, 440 French nationals have been located and found safe and sound in Haiti.

There has regrettably been confirmation of the deaths of 12 French nationals, whilst we are still without news of 14 others.

Since 13 January, 5 daily round-trip flights have evacuated 677 people – 596 French nationals, 54 Haitians, 20 non-French European citizens and 7 people of other nationalities – from Haiti to the French West Indies.

3. The effort is continuing -

Another aircraft chartered by the French Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs left Paris on 17 January carrying 100 search-and-rescue and rubble-clearing specialists and a consular crisis team tasked with helping in the evacuation. The plane will arrive in Haiti in the middle of the day (Paris time).

- A Defence Ministry C-130 is being deployed this afternoon to deliver humanitarian aid and transport French nationals evacuated from Haiti to the French West Indies.

- 2 French naval vessels (a light transport and landing ship and landing platform dock [ship]) will arrive in the area in the next few days, strengthening our capabilities: civil engineering equipment, vehicles, 2 heavy helicopters and 2 light helicopters.

- A plane carrying around 20 tonnes of humanitarian aid is scheduled to leave France for Port-au-Prince in the course of today.
So this morning, 650 French relief personnel are assisting the Haitian people and French nationals.

Finally, the French capabilities have also been made available to the NGOs, which to date have used them to transport 48 humanitarian workers and 10 tonnes of equipment.

publie le 20/01/2010

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