Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Haiti receives renewed pledges of aid

The US renewed it's pledge of aid to Haiti today. The Haitian government got government leaders and other organizations together to help them dig out of huge deficit caused by tropical storms and the collapse of it's government. US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton pledged 57 million dollars to Haiti.

From the Miami Herald, writer Jacqueline Charles has the follow up story on the conference.

Clinton told the opening session of the meeting of 20 nations and international organizations that the United States' commitment was designed to generate jobs, build roads and help fight drug traffickers.

''What happens in Haiti affects far beyond the Caribbean and even the region,'' she said. ``Haiti is in danger of stalling. This conference gives us all an opportunity to reignite its path to progress by working as a team with Haiti at the helm.''

At one point, Clinton reduced her philanthropic pitch to the bare essentials, noting that $150 can send a single Haitian child to school for a year -- or vaccinate 15 youngsters.

The daylong meeting is being held at the Inter-American Development Bank. United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and representatives of France and Canada were in attendance.

The cash-starved, impoverished nation of nine million is still digging out from last year's four tropical storms and hurricanes that left nearly 800 dead and $1 billion in damage in the aftermath of a series of food riots.

Haiti is seeking $125 million to close a gap in its budget and about $2 billion toward a three-year program aimed at reducing poverty.

In her appeal, Haitian Prime Minister Michèle Pierre-Louis stressed that her country was ready to embark on a new partnership with the international community.

''Timing is of extreme importance,'' she said.

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