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Three years after disastrous earthquake, Commission reaffirms long-term commitment to Haiti

Disaster preparedness in Haiti - Photo credits: EC/ECHO/François Duboc
08/01/2013  - 

This week marks the third anniversary of the earthquake that hit Haiti on the 12 January 2010. The devastating consequences have made this one of the worst natural disasters in recent history. To recognise this occasion, Commissioner Kristalina Georgieva, together with the High-Representative and Vice-President of the European Commission, Catherine Ashton and Commissioner Andris Piebalgs, reaffirmed the European Commission's long-term commitment to the Haitian people.

Europe responded to the massive needs triggered by the earthquake swiftly and decisively. Along with helping save lives, the European Commission has provided more than 500,000 people with housing. EU humanitarian aid has also supported the treatment of cholera and prevention against the spread of epidemics.

Equally important, the EU has focused on disaster risk reduction and measures to help Haitians become more resilient to future disasters. Altogether, EU humanitarian aid has benefited 5 million people, meaning every second Haitian.

The EU also supports governance, infrastructure, economic activities and the state budget, enabling the provision of health, education and justice. Most of the funding promised by the European Commission after the disaster has already been committed and additional money has been allocated to address the evolving needs.

Of course, there is still a long way to go. Recent events like tropical storm Isaac and Hurricane Sandy make Haiti's recovery even more difficult and highlight yet again the need to increase Haitians' resilience to natural disasters.

Three years on from the dreadful tragedy that struck in 2010, Europe is more determined than ever to demonstrate our commitment to Haiti. Helping it recover and build itself back better is the best way to show solidarity with the long-suffering people of this country and to honour the victims of the disaster.