Haiti`s President For White House Meeting

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CaribWorldNews, WASHINGTON, D.C., Mon. Mar. 8, 2010: Haiti`s President, Rene Preval, is set for a White House visit on Wednesday.

The trip is the first internationally since the devastating quake of Jan. 12th that claimed over 200,000 lives. The meeting with President Barack Obama comes ahead of an international donors` conference set for the end of the month.

Preval is slated to make his own appeal for more aid as the country begins the tough rebuilding effort.

President Obama for his part is set to underscore that the Haitian people have a `friend and partner` in the United States and discuss with Preval how the international community can support the Haitian government, the White House said.

A donors` conference to mobilize international support for the long-term development and recovery of Haiti will take place at U.N. headquarters in New York March 31.

`The government of Haiti faces enormous challenges following the devastating earthquake of January 12,` the State Department said March 4 in announcing the conference. `Meeting these challenges will require a sustained and substantial commitment from the international community, in support of the government and people of Haiti.`

`At the donors` conference, Haiti will present its vision of Haiti`s future and how international support can assist,` the announcement said.

Sponsors for the ministerial-level conference, formally called the International Donors` Conference Towards a New Future for Haiti, include the United States and the United Nations in cooperation with the Haitian government, and also with the support of Brazil, Canada, the European Union, France and Spain.

In addition, the Dominican Republic, which is Haiti`s nearest neighbor, will host an international conference of high-level technical donors to evaluate the economic consequences of the earthquake. It is scheduled for March 16–17 in Santo Domingo and will serve as the basis for the donors` conference at the United Nations, according to Dominican government officials.

A preliminary study by the Inter-American Development Bank (PDF, 240KB) indicates that it could cost as much as $14 billion to rebuild Haiti`s homes, schools, roads and other structures damaged by the earthquake.

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