New York

18 February 2010

Secretary-General's press encounter following launch of Revised Haiti Flash Appeal

SG: Good afternoon, Ladies and Gentlemen.

First of all, thank you very much for your patience and for taking part in this brief press stakeout.

I am sorry to tell you that Special Envoy [for Haiti], President Clinton, is not able to join us. He has to leave. I hope you will understand.

As you know, both I and President Clinton have just issued the second flash appeal in the amount of $1.4 billion. That includes more than $600 million which had already been funded through the first flash appeal. Now, it will cover a full year –this year –in the amount of $768 million.

It is quite encouraging that we had received more than 100 percent funding for our appeal.

As the rainy season is coming to Haiti, then it will be extremely important for us to provide, on a priority basis, shelter and sanitation and all other necessary humanitarian assistance.

The appeal which I have made today will be [for] humanitarian assistance and early recovery. Now, we are also going to have an international donors' conference on March 31st for the longer term development [of Haiti].

But as President Clinton has said, while we will be focusing on medium and longer-term reconstruction it is also crucially important that we need to do urgent and immediate assistance for those people –displaced persons, homeless people - who really need immediate assistance, day-to-day assistance. Without taking care of them, it will be difficult.

The security situation is relatively calm, under control, owing to the great effort of MINUSTAH [UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti], and food delivery systems are now working well. Mr. John Holmes was in Haiti last week, together with Alain LeRoy [Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations] and Susana Malcorra [Under-Secretary-General for Department of Field Support]. We are paying our greatest efforts to help the Haitian people. The Haitian Government are now on their own feet, under the leadership of President [René] Préval and Prime Minister [Jean-Max] Bellerive. This is quite encouraging. So now, it is very important for us to really help the Haitian people for the longer term, to build back better. That is our moral imperative at this time. And thank you very much for all your support. I am very grateful to the troop contributing countries and the donor countries who have been so swift and generous in providing such necessary assistance.

I am here with Amb. [Leo] Mérorès of Haiti, John Holmes, OCHA [Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs] Under-Secretary-General, has been leading this and I really appreciate his commitment and leadership. Again, I will continuously work together with the international community. Thank you very much.

Q: Secretary-General, in terms of the ports. We are hearing reports that shipments are being held, that people are being bribed - batteries, equipment like that, are being resold on the streets. What is your idea, in terms of how the UN is doing, in terms of monitoring corruption, and in particular, at the ports?

SG: It is encouraging that these floating dock facilities are now gradually working, with special assistance and cooperation of the U.S. government. Of course, all the assistance items should be delivered correctly to the needy people. That is a very important principle. We will try to monitor and make sure that this will be delivered to the needy people. OCHA and MINUSTAH will try to make sure that all will be properly handled.

Thank you very much.