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Speeches & Transcripts

Opening Remarks by World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim at a Joint Press Conference with Haitian President Michel Martelly

November 6, 2012

World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim Joint Press Conference with Haitian President Michel Martelly Port-au-Prince, Haiti


[Speaking in Creole, extending condolences to those affected by the Hurricane Sandy]

DR. KIM: And please excuse me but now I'll continue in English.


I do want to let you all know that we were very saddened by the impact of Hurricane Sandy.  We are working with the National Emergency Operations Center here, and we have also been very clear that there are funds through the World Bank that we can make available immediately to help in the hurricane response.

I also want to report that we had a very productive series of meetings and what I made clear to President Martelly and his team is that I feel, as a person who has watched Haiti very closely since 1988, that this is a chance not to be missed.

We are very happy to make a few announcements.

One of the things that I want to say today is that through the return cash grants program, 60,000 people will leave camps and will relocate to upgraded neighborhoods in the next 15 months.  They'll receive a one-year rental and livelihood subsidy, access to basic services, and vocational training to increase the chances of employment.

But the most important result of the meetings today is that we have decided to, as President Martelly announced, we are going to move into the next mode of working together.  We are going to set very clear priorities.  We're going to focus on certain areas, energy being one of the first ones, and that we're going to keep in very close contact and hold each other accountable--the government will hold us accountable, we'll hold the government accountable--and we're going to produce results in the areas that are most important to the Haitian people.

Since 1804, the Haitian people have been an inspiration and a model for the entire rest of the world, and now some 208 years later, we must commit to ensuring that the Haitian people finally fulfill its historic destiny.