Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The donations are running low in Haiti

A year and a half has now passed since the Haiti earthquake. All of money pledged immediately after the quake is starting to run low. But there is still a lot of work to be done on the streets of Port au Prince.

From the Inter Press Service, writer Thalif Deen unpacks a UN report that examines all of the donations and how much is left to spend.

"The amount of debris still littering the streets could fill 8,000 Olympic-sized swimming pools," the U.N. Development Programme (UNDP) said in a study released here.

Most of the rubble is still clogging the capital, Port-au-Prince, preventing people from moving back to their homes, resuming their lives and allowing the recovery process to truly take hold in Haiti's capital city.

The estimated cost of rebuilding Haiti is a hefty 11.5 billion dollars "and the organisations working in the country need continuous support," says UNDP.

In March 2010, U.N. member states pledged more than nine billion dollars to rebuild the country, including 5.3 billion for 2010-2011. Just 352 million dollars have been delivered to the Haiti Reconstruction Fund to date, with 237 million of that sum disbursed for 14 reconstruction projects, according to the fund's first annual report released on Jul. 22.

At least 600,000 people still live in tent camps, and more than 5,500 have died from the cholera epidemic that broke out last October.

Reconstruction efforts in Haiti are being led not only by donors from rich and poor nations but also by international organisations, including the United Nations, the World Bank, the European Union, the Inter-American Development Bank and IBSA, the coalition of three emerging nations in the developing world: India, Brazil and South Africa.

Ambassador Hardeep Singh Puri of India, an active member of IBSA, told IPS his country had made a "modest contribution" of five million dollars in the immediate aftermath of the earthquake followed by 500,000 dollars to the U.N.'s Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF).

"We have also pledged to reconstruct one of the government ministries to be identified by the government of Haiti," he added.

Additionally, IBSA is planning to expand its joint Trust Fund waste management project to provide other basic amenities, such as shelter, drinking water and sanitation.

Currently, the three countries are spending over two million dollars in this effort, and also in the reconstruction of a community health centre in Haiti. http://ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=56628

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