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Haiti: Humanitarian Aid

Volume 504: debated on Thursday 28 January 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment he has made of the effects of the earthquake in Haiti on the capacity for the transfer of remittance payments from the UK to that country. (313556)

We have received reports that remittance agencies and banks in the Port-au-Prince area began opening again on 22 January. However, we are still in the emergency relief phase of the operation and it is still too early to estimate when payments systems will be fully operational in Haiti.

The United States, in contrast to the United Kingdom, is a large source of remittances for Haiti and is looking closely at how best to facilitate cost effective wire transfers from the United States. We will do all we can to support the UN and Government of Haiti in drawing attention to this important issue, as well as supporting the re-establishment of communications and remittance networks.