News / Americas

    Haiti to Ask International Community for $11.5 Billion in Reconstruction Aid

    More than 230,000 killed, over one million others left homeless in nation where most citizens were already living in poverty

    Margaret Besheer

    The international community will meet at the United Nations this week to make financial commitments to earthquake ravaged Haiti's reconstruction. Haitian President Rene Préval is expected to ask for some $11.5 billion to rebuild the country.

    Haiti's recovery from the devastation of January's 7.0 magnitude earthquake will take years and billions of dollars.

    More than 230,000 people were killed and more than one million others were left homeless in a nation where most citizens were already living in deep poverty.

    At Wednesday's donors' conference, Haitian President Rene Préval will present the international community with his government's needs and its plan for recovery and reconstruction.

    He is co-hosting the meeting with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. Mr. Ban has said the focus is now beginning to shift from emergency aid to longer term reconstruction.

    "Then I hope that this international Donors conference on 31 March will be a crucially important momentum where international community express their strong solidarity and support for the Haitian government and people through very generous financial support," he said.

    Several countries have already expressed their intention to help, including the United States. President Barack Obama has asked Congress for $2.8 billion for Haiti. Last week, the Inter-American Development Bank forgave nearly $500 million of Haiti's foreign debt.

    The U.N. Development Program is in the lead on the donors' conference from the U.N. side. Jordan Ryan is UNDP's Director of Crisis Prevention and Recovery. He says the hope is that the pledging conference will raise the funds necessary for the first 2 to 3 years of reconstruction.

    "We do hope that we will find resources in the range of $3.5 billion, maybe a bit more, that would be able to get the early reconstruction underway," he said.

    And there is plenty to do. A top priority is building transitional shelters for Haiti's more than one million homeless. Funds are also needed to rebuild the country's heavy infrastructure, its schools and hospitals.

    Haiti's government will have the ultimate responsibility for overseeing those plans. But it will work closely with international partners, including the United Nations, the United States and international financial institutions.

    "The international community is working closely with the Haitians in developing what might be an Interim Development Commission. There's talk now, and I think it will be announced at the conference, of engagement of former [U.S.] President [Bill] Clinton as U.N. Special Envoy to work shoulder-to-shoulder with the Haitian president and prime minister in that commission," he added.

    Mr. Clinton most recently visited Haiti last week. He stressed the importance of involving a wide range of people and organizations in reconstruction.

    "The diaspora, the NGOs, all the people who have been moved by the earthquake and want to continue their involvement, and the private investment community - we have to get them all going in the same direction and we are going to try to do that," said Bill Clinton.

    Those groups will have representatives at the donor's conference who will give their assessment of what is needed for the reconstruction effort.

    The money Wednesday's conference hopes to raise is in addition to the $1.4 billion the U.N. appealed for earlier this year to meet emergency humanitarian needs. Only about half those funds have been pledged.

    You May Like

    Hope Remains for Rio Olympic Games, Despite Woes

    Facing a host of problems, Rio prepares for holding the games but experts say some risks, like Zika, may not be as grave as initially thought

    IS Use of Social Media to Recruit, Radicalize Still a Top Threat to US

    Despite military gains against IS in Iraq and Syria, their internet propaganda still commands an audience; US officials see 'the most complex challenge that the federal government and industry face'

    ‘Time Is Now’ to Save Africa’s Animals From Poachers, Activist Says

    During Zimbabwe visit, African Wildlife Foundation President Kaddu Sebunya says poaching hurts Africa as slave trade once did

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Ivorian Chocolate Makers Promote Locally-made Chocolatei
    X
    July 29, 2016 4:02 PM
    Ivory Coast is the world's top producer of cocoa but hardly any of it is processed into chocolate there. Instead, the cocoa is sent abroad to chocolate makers in Europe and elsewhere. This is a general problem throughout Africa – massive exports of raw materials but few finished goods. As Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, several Ivorian entrepreneurs are working to change that formula - 100 percent Ivorian chocolate bar at a time.
    Video

    Video Ivorian Chocolate Makers Promote Locally-made Chocolate

    Ivory Coast is the world's top producer of cocoa but hardly any of it is processed into chocolate there. Instead, the cocoa is sent abroad to chocolate makers in Europe and elsewhere. This is a general problem throughout Africa – massive exports of raw materials but few finished goods. As Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, several Ivorian entrepreneurs are working to change that formula - 100 percent Ivorian chocolate bar at a time.
    Video

    Video Tesla Opens Battery-Producing Gigafactory

    Two years after starting to produce electric cars, U.S. car maker Tesla Motors has opened the first part of its huge battery manufacturing plant, which will eventually cover more than a square kilometer. Situated close to Reno, Nevada, the so-called Gigafactory will eventually produce more lithium-ion batteries than were made worldwide in 2013. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Polio-affected Afghan Student Fulfilling Her Dreams in America

    Afghanistan is one of only two countries in the world where children still get infected by polio. The other is Pakistan. Mahbooba Akhtarzada who is from Afghanistan, was disabled by polio, but has managed to overcome the obstacles caused by this crippling disease. VOA's Zheela Nasari caught up with Akhtarzada and brings us this report narrated by Bronwyn Benito.
    Video

    Video Hillary Clinton Promises to Build a 'Better Tomorrow'

    Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton urged voters Thursday not to give in to the politics of fear. She vowed to unite the country and move it forward if elected in November. Clinton formally accepted the Democratic Party's nomination at its national convention in Philadelphia. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more.
    Video

    Video Trump Tones Down Praise for Russia

    Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is toning down his compliments for Russia and Vladimir Putin as such rhetoric got him in trouble recently. After calling on Russia to find 30.000 missing emails from rival Hillary Clinton, Trump told reporters he doesn't know Putin and never called him a great leader, just one who's better than President Barack Obama. Putin has welcomed Trump's overtures, but, as Zlatica Hoke reports, ordinary Russians say they are not putting much faith in Trump.
    Video

    Video Uganda Unveils its First Solar-powered Bus

    A solar-powered bus described by its Ugandan makers as the first in Africa has made its public debut. Kiira Motors' electric bus, Kayoola, displayed recently at a stadium in Uganda's capital. From Kampala, Maurice Magorane filed this report narrated by Salem Solomon.
    Video

    Video Silicon Valley: More Than A Place, It's a Culture

    Silicon Valley is a technology powerhouse and a place that companies such as Google, Facebook and Apple call home. It is a region in northern California that stretches from San Francisco to San Jose. But, more than that, it's known for its startup culture. VOA's Elizabeth Lee went inside one company to find out what it's like to work in a startup.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora

    More Americas News

    WHO Chief Going to Olympics, Says Zika Risk Low

    Worries about security, the Zika virus and an economic crisis could deter travelers, with just under a third of event tickets as yet unsold

    Brazilian Drug Lord Found Serving Time in Paraguay Prison ‘VIP’ Suite

    Raided by authorities, three-room ‘cell’ was found to have library, kitchen, conference room and even a plasma television

    Uruguay Formally Ends its Presidency of Mercosur Trade Bloc

    Ministry statement said there are no legal arguments for blocking transfer of presidency to Venezuela, it stopped short of announcing that Venezuela would now lead South American group

    Court: Brazil's Lula to Stand Trial for Obstruction of Justice

    Brazil's ex-president officially a defendant in sprawling corruption probe focused on state-run oil company Petrobras

    Australian Olympic Team Evacuated for Dorm Fire

    Small fire in basement of team living quarters caused no injuries; quality of Olympic housing for athletes sparks complaints

    Hope Remains for Rio Olympic Games, Despite Woes

    Facing a host of problems, Rio prepares for holding the games but experts say some risks, like Zika, may not be as grave as initially thought