Wednesday, July 14, 2010

BREAKING NEWS: France finally agrees to pay colonial debt to Haiti

The following is a press release that went out this morning from the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, check the link for the video:


JULY 14, 2010

France leads Haiti donors with €17 billion pledge
New reconstruction framework marks "new era of cooperation"


PARIS--France today announced the boldest initiative yet for Haiti's reconstruction following the devastating January 12 earthquake. In a press conference this morning, the French Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs unveiled a new bilateral Framework Initiative for Haiti's Reconstruction (FIHR).

A spokesperson for Minister Bernard Kouchner emphasized in a special Bastille Day address that the new agreement marked "the dawn of a new era of cooperation between France and Haiti."

"Whereas our nations' relations were, historically, at times tumultuous, today we start with a clean slate united by compassion and cooperation," Ministry spokesperson Natalie Lacroix stated.

Under the FIHR, France has committed to pay back the historic indemnity of 90 million gold francs which Haiti paid to the French republic following the Caribbean nation's independence from France. Including adjustments for inflation and a minimal interest rate of 5 percent per annum, this sum is today valued at € 17 billion (21 billion USD).

Lacroix stated: "In the context of the present global financial crisis, some will say this is no time for the launch of such an ambitious initiative. Yet it is precisely in such times of crisis, particularly as we work to rebuild the global financial system, that our deepest-held values are most important. 'Liberty, equality and fraternity': these must be the pillars of the new global financial architecture if we want to assure that-this time around-Haitians too can share in economic development."

The Ministry is encouraging other governments to follow the French example, and "take responsibility and action to correct the mistakes of the past in this hour of Haiti's greatest need."

The Ministry's full statement is available at:

Media Contact:
Laurence Fabre
Tel : (+33) 970 44 6727
Email :

Great statement, and about damn time! Hopefully other governments follow this extraordinary move by France. Check back tomorrow for an update.


  1. Would be a nice thought, but the story and website are fake. Haiti's economy is approximately US$6bn and I doubt the French are in a position at the moment to extend US$21bn to anybody.

  2. French foreign ministry probes fake website
    (AFP) – 5 hours ago

    Too bad!