Port-au-Prince, December 10, 2007 - Juan José Daboub, Managing Director of the World Bank, visited Haiti last week where he confirmed the on-going support of the World Bank to the government and to the Haitian people, in particular in the aftermath of tropical storm Noel. Since 2005, the World Bank has provided US$200 million in grants to Haiti.
"This is my first official visit to Haiti. I come to get acquainted with the people, and the challenges and opportunities of the country." said Daboub.
During his visit, Juan José Daboub met with President René Préval, the Minister of Planning Max Bellerive, and other authorities. The high-level international official also met with Hédi Annabi, the Special Representative of the UN Secretary General (MINUSTAH), leaders from the private sector, representatives of civil society and the media.
Following a meeting with Finance Minister Daniel Dorsainvil, Daboub, traveled to Les Cayes in the southwest of Haiti accompanied by the Interior Minister, Paul Antoine Bien-Aimé. Daboub visited some of the World Bank supported Community-Driven Development (CDD) projects: a market place being built by a group of 200 local women in Torbeck and an electricity project in Montville. In Camp Perrin, Daboub met with a team of Haitians working on the protection of the environment and natural disaster preparedness and emergency relief.
Meeting with the people in areas affected by Noel, the Managing Director said, "It is crucial that authorities and local communities work together on disaster preparedness and response to prevent casualties, mitigate the impact and achieve a quick recovery after an emergency."
Daboub was accompanied by Yvonne Tsikata, new World Bank Director for the Caribbean, Mathurin Gbetibouo, World Bank Representative in Haiti, and by Salem Rohana, IFC Representative for the Dominican Republic and Haiti.
As of December 1, 2007, Dr. Daboub, a Salvadoran national, supervises the portfolios of Middle East and North Africa, South-Asia, and Latin America and the Caribbean. Along with the team led by Pamela Cox, World Bank Vice-President for Latin America and the Caribbean, the Managing Director seeks to materialize the vision of the World Bank President, Robert Zoellick, about an inclusive globalization that benefits all sectors in society.