Above: Haiti President Michel Martelly and World Bank President Jim Yong Kim (Photo: OP Haiti)
By the Caribbean Journal staff
Haiti President Michel Martelly received World Bank President Jim Yong Kim in Port-au-Prince Tuesday during the latter’s two-day visit to the country.
Kim was joined by World Bank vice president for Latin America and the Caribbean Hasan Tuluy and Jim-Yong Cai, the general manager of the International Finance Corporation.
Martelly was accompanied by Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe, Foreign Minister Pierre Richard Casimir, Economy Minister Marie-Carmelle Jean-Marie and Minister Delegate to the Prime Minister Rose-Anne Auguste.
Haiti’s president invited the World Bank to pay special attention to Haiti and make it a “priority country” in the fight against extreme poverty.
Martelly also urged the development of an immediate response mechanism that enables faster access to finance for member countries during a crisis like Hurricane Sandy.
He pointed to the lingering effects of that storm which killed at least 60 people in Haiti, according to some reports, and destroyed nearly 70 percent of its crops.
The visit is the first by Kim to Haiti since taking office in July. The World Bank is the largest donor in Haiti.
Martelly supported Kim’s candidacy for the World Bank presidency in April. Kim, a doctor by trade, is the co-founder of healthcare organization Partners in Health, which has a significant presence in Haiti and recently completed construction on the University Hospital of Mirebalais, north of Port-au-Prince.
Kim’s trip continues on Wednesday.