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World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim to visit Haiti


In Port-au-Prince:
Sergio Jellinek, +1 (202) 294 6232,
sjellinek@worldbank.org
Berdine Edmond, + 509 3106 4831
bedmond@worldbank.org

In Washington DC:
Melanie Zipperer, +1 (202) 468-9841,
mzipperer@worldbank.org


Two-day trip focuses on supporting the country’s longer-term development efforts

Washington DC , November 5, 2012 — Jim Yong Kim, president of the World Bank Group(WBG), will begin a two-day visit to Haiti tomorrow in his first official visit to the Latin American region since he took office on July 1st. Before arriving in Haiti, Kim is scheduled to participate in the G20 ministerial meetings in Mexico City which end today.

Kim will meet with Haiti’s senior leadership, including President Michel Martelly and Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe, to discuss the government’s priorities and the Bank’s continuing role to support the country’s reconstruction and longer-term development efforts.

He also will visiting several projects, including  a Bank-supported program that has helped find housing for thousands of Haitians following the 2010 earthquake, and  will speak with business leaders as well as attendees on a conference on poverty.

 “First, let me express my condolences to the families and friends of those who lost their lives from Hurricane Sandy. It was a horrible tragedy and our hearts go out to those who lost loved ones. I chose to come to Haiti well before the hurricane to underscore the priority that I give to this country and to the fight against poverty around the world,” Kim said.

The President of the World Bank added, “While there has been much progress in the rebuilding of Haiti, the country's reconstruction and development will require a sustained effort for a long time. We are committed to supporting Haiti as it moves from emergency reconstruction to economic development in order to create new opportunities for all.

Kim will be accompanied by Hasan Tuluy, World Bank Vice President for Latin America and the Caribbean; Jin-Yong Cai, the recently appointed Executive Vice President and CEO of the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private sector arm of the World Bank; and Michel Wormser, Vice-President and Chief Operating Officer of the Bank’s Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA).

Highlights of Kim’s visit (open to media) include:

  • After arriving in Port-au-Prince on Tuesday morning, Kim and his delegation will meet at 9:00 am with Haitian President Martelly, Prime Minister Lamothe, and the Minister of Economy and Finance, Marie-Carmelle Jean-Marie.  After the meeting, at 11.00 am, journalists are invited to a press briefing with President Martelly and President Kim at the Presidential Palace.  
  • On Tuesday evening, Kim will be the keynote speaker at the “Conference on Extreme Poverty and Social Exclusion.” He is scheduled to speak at 7:00 p.m. The conference is organized by the government of Haiti and will bring together a wide range of national and international stakeholders to identify new avenues and strategies to address extreme poverty in Haiti. The conference will take place at the Montana Hotel and will be open to the press.
  • On Wednesday, at the end of his visit, Kim will hold a closing press conference, together with Marie-Carmelle Jean-Marie, Minister of Economy and Finance, at the Port-au-Prince international airport. Journalists are invited to join the press conference at 12:15-12:45 p.m.

Background

The 2010 earthquake killed 230,000 people and displaced 1.5 million. It generated damages and losses of about US$7.9 billion (120% of GDP) and US$11.3 billion in estimated reconstruction needs.  


The massive destruction of infrastructure, including public buildings, roads, bridges, housing, electricity, water, and telecommunications, disrupted the entire country and exacerbated the country’s development challenges. Donors have committed US$8.7 billion in humanitarian and project investments, of which US$5.8 billion have been disbursed, and have provided US$1 billion in debt relief.

With regard to the World Bank Group’s support, donors allocated US$500 million from the International Development Association’s (IDA) Crisis Response Window to Haiti for the period of 2012-14. The Haiti Interim Strategy Note (ISN 2) for 2013/14, which was approved in September 2012, programs the remaining US$245 million in grants, following the first tranche of US$255 million, which was approved in December 2011.

Almost three years after the earthquake progress is visible. Rubble has been cleared, of the 1.5 million displaced, 360,000 remain in camps. Exceptional efforts have been made to combat and contain cholera, and free access to education has been expanded with donor and government funds. The government has launched a social safety net program, stepped up agriculture investments, committed to electricity sector reforms, and is working to attract foreign investors.

Under ISN 2 the World Bank will continue to invest in reconstruction, basic health and education services. Supporting the government in its transition from emergency response to longer-term development, the strategy will also:
  • Support ante- and postnatal care services to around half a million pregnant women and provide healthcare services to 1.5 million children under five.
  • Advance inclusive growth by restoring historical sites and promoting tourism in the North.
  • Increase productivity and competitiveness of the agriculture sector with improved food security and nutrition among the most vulnerable groups.
  • Improve government accountability and transparency in public financial management, and build Haiti’s capacity to deliver services to its people.

For more information on the World Bank’s work in Haiti, please visit: http://www.worldbank.org/haiti