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Earthquake in Haiti – Update on French effort (02/04/10)

Publié le February 3, 2010
Statement by the Foreign and European Affairs Ministry Spokesman
Paris, February 4, 2010

Since January 12, thanks to France’s strong, swift mobilization, assistance has been given to a large number of the earthquake victims. Now that the emergency phase is coming to an end, we can make an initial assessment:

1. Evacuations and repatriations

2,769 people have been evacuated, either to metropolitan France (1,642 people) or to the French West Indies (1,127 people). The 2,769 people evacuated include 1,221 French nationals, 1,216 Haitians, 47 [non-French] European Union citizens, 57 nationals of other countries and 278 children who are in the process of being adopted by French families.

2. Medical

232 of those evacuated or repatriated were hospitalized, the majority to the French West Indies.

7,200 consultations, almost 1,300 admissions and 364 surgical operations have taken place in the medical facilities provided by France to Haiti (field hospital, advanced medical unit and the on-board hospital of the French Navy ship Siroco)

3. Support for the people

The French effort is now focused on supporting the people:

- 4 water production units have been installed to meet the needs of 40,000 people a day;

- 1,000 tonnes of humanitarian aid will be delivered from Martinique and Guadeloupe on 4 and 18 February;

- today, 1,028 French personnel are deployed in Haiti (including 364 from the Sécurité civile [emergency services], 540 from the Defence Ministry and 114 gendarmes);

- our personnel and equipment on the ground are being increased to ensure the resumption of our embassy’s activities and contribute to the start of the reconstruction phase.

4. Adoptions

The International Adoption Service (SAI – Service de l’adoption internationale) has done an important job of collecting and collating information from families and bodies authorized to carry out adoptions, liaising with the French Embassy in Port-au-Prince and the Ministry’s crisis centre in Paris. To date, 909 families have contacted the SAI regarding 999 children. 418 families have been given decisions on a total of 482 children.

France is dealing with the adoption procedures fully in accordance with her international commitments and Haitian legislation, in the children and families’ interests. The SAI and French Embassy are collecting the necessary paperwork to be sure of the existence of decisions delivered before the earthquake. Already 228 children for whom adoption decisions have been produced have arrived in metropolitan France and 50 others are expected in the next few days.

The Foreign and European Affairs Ministry and French Embassy in Port-au-Prince remain fully mobilized on the situation of the children in Haiti./.

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