We will not forget Haiti, German foreign minister says

M&C Europe News     July 17, 2011

Port-au-Prince – Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle on Sunday assured new Haitian President Michel Martelly of Germany’s continued support to the earthquake-shattered country’s reconstruction efforts.

‘We will not forget Haiti,’ Westerwelle said after meeting with Martelly in the capital Port-au-Prince.

But the German minister urged the country’s warring political factions to work together, saying only political stability would make the rebuilding possible.

He also said ‘stable conditions’ were essential for foreign investment.

The candidates picked by Martelly, who was sworn in two months ago, have been blocked by the opposition-controlled National Assembly. The president is still trying to form a new government.

Haiti, the poorest country in the Americas, is struggling to recover from an earthquake in January 2010 in which more than 220,000 people died.

A cholera epidemic followed, which has killed 5,600 people since October and infected 400,000. Each day, there are 800 new infections, according to the Health Ministry.

Despite pledges of billions of dollars of aid, reconstruction has been slow. Eighteen months after the earthquake left more than 1 million people homeless, hundreds of thousands continue to live in emergency shelters.

Haiti was the final stop on Westerwelle’s four-country tour – he earlier visited the United States, Colombia and Mexico.

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