Brazil calls for cancellation of Haiti's debt

08:36, February 26, 2010      

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Visiting Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva Thursday called all creditor countries and agencies to write off Haiti's external debt so that the Caribbean country can apply for new loans to finance the reconstruction after the Jan. 12 devastating earthquake.

During the ceremony for signing several agreements with Haiti, Lula said "it is time for the world to express solidarity forgiving that debt, which amounts to about 1,300 million dollars. "

He told Haiti President Rene Preval that a special meeting of South American Nations Union (UNASUR) has decided to donate 100 million dollars for Haiti.

The Brazilian leader arrived in Haiti Thursday morning for his first visit since the quake, and has flown over the capital Port- au-Prince to verify the situation in the worst affected areas of the city.

"The Brazilian government will do everything that is possible, and especially in agreement with the government of Haiti," he stressed.

"We are subordinate to the orientation of the government of Haiti, to what they want us to do and how we should do it. We are not coming from Brazil and do things the way we want. This country has a government legitimately elected," he stressed.

In his dialogue with Preval, the president explained, in addition to debt forgiveness, a priority to start the reconstruction process was detected.

"A priority is to collect the debris of the earthquake and organize camping areas. Preval's idea of making small camps for no tumult is correct. Coordination of Haiti and the UN will make a survey on how many machines we need to do that job, which will be conducted in short, medium and long term," he said.

Preval said that his idea is to avoid large camps because people prefer to remain in the neighborhoods they used to live before the quake. After removing the debris, it would be possible to organize settlements for between 50 and 100 families.

Da Silva said that if Brazil already had a very strong policy of solidarity, after having seen the picture of the calamity with their own eyes, all efforts to help the country will be made.

"Things in Haiti are more serious than we imagined. It is not easy, but at this time of sorrow and despair it is necessary to raise the head and hope that Haiti will emerge from this crisis stronger. This country which was the first to reach independence will not curve before another adversity," he said.

Source: Xinhua
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