Wednesday, March 31, 2010

An update from the Haitian donor conference

Here is a report from the Haitian donor conference that is being hosted today at the United Nations. The Haitian government released a rebuilding plan to the delegates at the conference. The rebuilding plan will take 18 months and needs 4 billion dollars to complete. So far the European Union has pledged 1.7 billion dollars, the U.S. 1.15 billion, and the World Bank $250 million.

From the BBC, we read more about the rebuilding plan. The link to the BBC article also contains some graphs that mark the progress in aid pledges.

The Haitian government and international officials have spent weeks putting together a plan for the country.

The first part of the plan is an 18-month project focusing on rebuilding destroyed infrastructure, government buildings, hospitals and schools - which is expected to cost almost $4bn.

Haitian President Rene Preval said he wanted to make education the focus of a new Haiti.

"I call on Haitians, both at home and abroad, to add their resources to those of our friends from the international community in order to transform Haiti to a place of knowledge," he said.

Officials estimate that a total of $11.5bn in aid will be needed for long-term reconstruction, which will involve strengthening institutions and refocusing the economy.

Mr Ban, the UN secretary general, described the plan as "concrete, specific and ambitious" and said he hoped it would build a "better future" for Haiti.

But he also urged donor nations not to forget a separate appeal for $1.44bn for food aid and shelter launched by the UN last month. He said just half had so far been pledged.

Aid agencies have warned that thousands are vulnerable to April rains and the hurricane season in June.

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