New Haitian President Secures US Backing

Haitian President Michel Martelly surrounded by reporters. Photo by: Rozanna Fang / CC BY-NC-SA

Overhauling the framework of international aid, bolstering the private sector, and empowering the government and civil society are among the priorities of Haiti’s newly elected president - and the Obama administration has thrown its backing behind these efforts to rebuild the quake-ravaged Caribbean country.

In a meeting with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Wednesday (April 20), Haitian President Michel Martelly proclaimed: “I plan on working relentlessly towards the reconstruction of the framework of international aid, to give new life to the business sector, and to develop the capabilities of government institutions and of civil society.”

Martelly claimed a landslide victory in April’s presidential election, defeating Mirlande Manigat, a former first lady.

The new Haitian president also identified improvements to the education and agriculture sectors, and relocation of people living in camps as the priorities of his administration.

Martelly said the reconstruction process is “despairingly slow.”

Clinton pledged the Obama administration’s support for Martelly’s government as Haiti continues to face development challenges in the areas of land ownership, business and private investments, and government capacity.

“We are behind him. We have a great deal of enthusiasm,” Clinton said. “The people of Haiti may have a long road ahead of them, but as they walk it, the United States will be with you all the way.”

Read more about U.S. development aid.

About the author

  • Ma. Rizza Leonzon

    As a former staff writer, Rizza focused mainly on business coverage, including key donors such as the Asian Development Bank and AusAID.