Statement by Mr. Shintaro Ito
State Secretary for Foreign Affairs
April 14, 2009
His Excellency, Mr. Luis Alberto Moreno, President of the Inter-American Development Bank
Her Excellency, Mrs. Michele Duvivier Pierre-Louis, Prime Minister of Haiti
First, on behalf of the Government of Japan, I would like to express my sincere appreciation for the initiative taken by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) in holding the "Haiti Donors Conference 2009." I hope that this meeting will herald a new future for Haiti.
On this occasion, I also wish to give my deepest condolences to the government of Haiti and its people for the damage caused by a series of hurricanes. I do hope that those who suffered from the disaster will soon recover from the damage and restore their normal lives.
Japan, along with the international community, recognizes that the stability and development of Haiti are indispensable for the stability and prosperity of, not only North, Central and South America, but the whole world.
We will continue our dedication to the development of Haiti, while respecting Haiti's culture and tradition and acting locally from a grassroots viewpoint.
Haiti has overcome repeated hardships; now it is time to rebuild this nation. We have high expectations for the Haitian government and its firm commitment and ownership towards nation-building of their own state.
Japan's support for Haiti - basic concept (human security) and three priority areas
Haiti's security and political conditions have been improved through efforts made by the government as well as by the international community. Yet one in two people are still living below the poverty line.
Japan has been promoting a concept of "human security," which aims to enhance human fulfillment by protecting people from critical and pervasive threats to human lives, livelihoods and dignity. This concept of human security is the foundation of our assistance to the people of Haiti.
We thus prioritize the following three areas for our assistance to Haiti.
- The first priority area is food and agriculture. The improvement in food self-sufficiency is urgent for Haiti's self- reliance. Japan lends its support in the field of agriculture.
- The second area is health and medical care. In this area, Japan has supported the Haitian government in strengthening the system that administers anti-infectious vaccinations to infants and pregnant women. We are also providing assistance to NGOs and local governments for the development of medical facilities in underprivileged areas.
- The third area is education and capacity building. In the belief that people are the foundation of a nation, Japan will be assisting NGOs with the rehabilitation of educational facilities and providing capacity building training for administrative officials in response to the needs of the Haitian Government.
For effective and efficient implementation of assistance, Japan will continuously and closely coordinate and consult with donors and relevant international institutions. We will also continue our triangular cooperation with Haiti in coordination with our partners and the donor community.
Japan's support for Haiti - past and future
At the Donor Conference in Port-au-Prince in July, 2006, Japan pledged 10 million US dollars as a committed assistance effective until the end of 2007. The actual disbursement exceeded this amount, reaching 13,250,000 US dollars. Meanwhile, since January, 2008, we have provided grant aid totaling 23 million US dollars, including emergency aid for hurricane damage.
On behalf of Japan, I would like to pledge up to 50 million US dollars for the implementation of Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP), primarily in the areas of food and agricultural support, health and medical care, and education. Furthermore, at the request of the Haitian government, Japan will provide the Haitians with opportunities of agricultural training at the Institute of Agriculture of the Dominican Republic. We will soon send preparatory survey teams both to the Dominican Republic and to Haiti. Moreover, Japan will dispatch an economic cooperation mission, including staff of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), to Haiti in order to assess the needs of assistance.
Japan has always been with Haiti. For the stability and reconstruction of Haiti, Japan, as a friend on the other side of the Pacific, will extend all possible support to Haiti.
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