Please Note: The following was released by the Governor’s Office on Monday, April 11, 2005.
Executive Office of the Governor State of Florida
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Monday, April 11, 2005 CONTACT: Jacob DiPietre (850) 488-5394
GOVERNOR BUSH RECEIVES FINAL REPORT FROM HAITI ADVISORY GROUP
~ Governor’s Haiti Advisory Group Delivers Final Recommendations ~
Miami – Governor Jeb Bush, joined today by Haiti’s Prime Minister Gérard Latortue and U.S. Ambassador to Haiti James Foley, accepted the final report and recommendations of the Governor’s Haiti Advisory Group. The advisory group is a special task force assembled by Governor Bush last year to determine the best ways Florida might assist the Republic of Haiti as it continues to move through a challenging period of transition. The report was presented to the Governor at the inaugural luncheon marking the opening of the Haitian American Chamber of Commerce of Florida, a sister entity of the American Chamber of Commerce of Haiti
“The Haiti Advisory Group has served as a valuable conduit in creating a dialogue between Florida’s Haitian community and Haitian leaders,” said Governor Bush. “As our Caribbean neighbor continues to face times of uncertainty and distress, we are committed to supporting the Haitian people in their effort to rebuild and create a positive future for the island nation. I look forward to reading this important report, and to further discussions regarding the Advisory Group’s recommendations.”
The Governor’s Haiti Advisory Group was established to identify critical short-term and long-term needs of Haiti in the areas of stimulating economic development and job creation, promoting infrastructure development and effective management of environmental resources, strengthening Haiti’s preparation for and response to natural disasters; improving healthcare and educational opportunities, and promoting the administration of justice and adherence to the Rule of Law, including combating corruption at all levels.
According to the 2000 U.S. Census, more than 230,000 Haitians live in Florida, making the Sunshine State home to the largest Haitian-American population in the U.S. As Haiti works to re-establish its economy and governmental infrastructure, the Haitian-American community in Florida has been increasingly recognized for its potential to impact the ultimate success of the country’s reconstruction efforts.
Governor Bush was also joined today by Deputy Assistant U.S. Secretary of State, James Derham and the Canadian Prime Minister’s Special Advisor on Haiti, Denis Coderre.
The Advisory Group is made up of 17 Gubernatorial appointees — prominent members of Florida’s Haitian-American community, as well as those with extensive experience in the country. In addition, Florida’s eight Haitian-American elected officials serve as Ex-Officio members. Since its inception, the advisory group has met regularly to consider specific assistance the State of Florida might be able to render to Haiti. Today, the Advisory Group delivered 25 final recommendations to the Governor that establish a foundation upon which further support for Haiti may be provided.
A copy of the Final Report of the Governor’s Haiti Advisory Group is posted on www.myflorida.com under “Hot Topics”.