France will provide 270 million euros over two years to Haiti to help the Caribbean nation's economy recover from a devastating January 12 earthquake, French President Nicolas Sarkozy said on Wednesday.
Announcing the assistance at a news conference with Haitian President Rene Preval, Sarkozy said France had already decided to forgive its 56 million euros of debt to his country in the wake of the quake.
Sarkozy spoke after arriving in the capital Port-au-Prince on the first visit by a French head of state to the former French Caribbean colony. “I have come to tell the Haitian people that they are not alone,” he said.
The French assistance will include the provision of 1,000 tents and 16,000 tarpaulins to help shelter 200,000 people during Haiti's rainy season, which typically begins in late March or April.
The quake last month killed more than 200,000 people and left more than 1 million homeless. Reuters