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Sarkozy Promises $400 Million More in Haiti Aid


The aid promised by French President Nicolas Sarkozy comes in addition to France's decision to cancel the $77 million debt Haiti owes to France. The $400 million in French aid will include reconstruction and emergency assistance along with money to help the Haitian government's budget. France will also dispatch experts to help the Haitian government in its recovery efforts over the coming months.

In a speech in the Haitian capital Porte-au-Prince, President Sarkozy said France would support the impoverished country, still reeling from January's earthquake that killed more than 200,000 people and left a million homeless.

Mr. Sarkozy said he had come to tell Haiti's people and their leaders that France will remain at their side to help them back on their feet and open a happier page in history. He recalled France's colonial history with Haiti and the scars it left.

The French president also held talks with his counterpart Rene Preval, who hosted Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper earlier this week.

A donors conference for Haiti takes place in New York in March. Experts estimate the cost of rebuilding the nation could reach $14 billion.

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