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South East MEP Sharon Bowles welcomes EU's aid pledge of €137 million to Haiti

January 19, 2010 2:30 PM

Lib Dem MEP Sharon Bowles, who chairs the European Parliament's powerful Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee, has welcomed the EU's pledge of €137 million in aid to earthquake-ravaged Haiti.

The earthquake, which struck Haiti on Tuesday 12th January and measured 7.0 on the Richter Scale, is thought to have claimed as many as 200,000 lives and has left many survivors without shelter or food.

Sharon Bowles said: "I am relieved the EU has pledged this money. I have seen harrowing images of the devastation in Haiti on the news this week and it is imperative that those who have been affected by the earthquake get all the help they need."

Commenting on the disaster yesterday, the BBC's Europe Editor, Gavin Hewitt, said: "The EU may be most effective at coordinating medium and long-term development."

Sharon Bowles said: "At times like this, the most effective effort is a collective effort. It is a testament to the political will and economic clout of the EU that such a significant sum of money can be pledged so quickly. I just hope the people of Haiti can rebuild what has been destroyed and that everything that can be done to mitigate the effects of another earthquake is put into place."

In addition to the European Commission's pledge of €137 million, it is expected that all 27 Member States of the EU will contribute additional sums, with the UK tripling its aid to £20 million.

For anyone interested in donating money to help those affected by the earthquake in Haiti, please visit Save the Children UK's website for further information:

http://www.savethechildren.org.uk/en/index.htm