News / Americas

International Community Meets for Haiti Pledging Conference

Former presidents Bill Clinton and George Bush speak at donor's conference for Haiti reconstruction aid
Former presidents Bill Clinton and George Bush speak at donor's conference for Haiti reconstruction aid

Multimedia

Margaret Besheer

The international community meets 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 his country.

Haiti's long-term reconstruction will take years and cost billions of dollars.

The 7.0 magnitude quake that struck in January killed more than 230,000 people and left more than a million others homeless in a nation where most citizens were already living in deep poverty.

On Wednesday, 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.

"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," said Mr. Ban.

The United States and several other countries have already expressed their intention to help. President Barack Obama has asked Congress for $2.8 billion to help Haiti.  Last week, the Inter-American Development Bank forgave nearly a half a billion dollars of Haiti's foreign debt.

The U.N. Development Program (UNDP) 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 two to three 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," said Ryan.

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 for rebuilding 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," Ryan added.  "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."

Mr. Clinton, along with former President George W. Bush, most recently visited Haiti last week.  Mr. Clinton stressed the importance of involving a wide range of people and organizations in the 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're going to try to do that," said Mr. 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 the conference hopes to raise is in addition to the $1.4 billion the United Nations appealed for earlier this year to meet emergency humanitarian needs.  Only about half those funds have been pledged.

You May Like

In China, Mixed Signals on Ebola Controls

How authorities are monitoring at-risk individuals remains unclear, including whether there are quarantines for Chinese health workers returning from West Africa More

Video Women Voters Anxious Ahead of US Elections

Analysts say if women are focused on national security, it could be bad news for Democrats More

Solar's Future Looks Brighter

New technology and dropping prices are contributing to a surge in solar power More

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.
Women Voters Anxious Ahead of US Electionsi
X
October 31, 2014 4:10 AM
Public opinion polls show American voters are deeply dissatisfied with their government and anxious about threats from abroad. This is especially true for a key voting group both Republicans and Democrats are trying hard to win over: women. Analysts say if women are focused on national security, it could be bad news for Democrats, with majority control of the Senate at stake. VOA’s Cindy Saine looks at the crucial role women voters will play in deciding the elections.
Video

Video Women Voters Anxious Ahead of US Elections

Public opinion polls show American voters are deeply dissatisfied with their government and anxious about threats from abroad. This is especially true for a key voting group both Republicans and Democrats are trying hard to win over: women. Analysts say if women are focused on national security, it could be bad news for Democrats, with majority control of the Senate at stake. VOA’s Cindy Saine looks at the crucial role women voters will play in deciding the elections.
Video

Video Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisia

Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Africa Tells its Story Through Fashion

In Africa, Fashion Week is a riot of colors, shapes, patterns and fabrics - against the backdrop of its ongoing struggle between nature and its fast-growing urban edge. How do these ideas translate into needle and thread? VOA’s Anita Powell visited this year’s Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Africa in Johannesburg to find out.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.

All About America

AppleAndroid

More Americas News

Mexico Police Investigate Police Link in Shooting Deaths of US Siblings

Deaths of Erica Alvarado Rivera, her brothers and boyfriend as they traveled to visit family is third high-profile case in recent months that links security forces to extrajudicial killings
More

Lawmaker Blasts US Participation in Cuba Ebola Meeting

Mario Diaz-Balart said ALBA, which chaired the meeting, 'was created solely to oppose US interests' and US participation was 'ludicrous'
More

US Coast Guard Rescues 33 Cubans at Sea

Because the overloaded boat did not make landfall, those rescued will be returned to Cuba
More

Western Experts Increasingly Fear Lone Wolf Terror Attacks

Slaying and assault on Canada's parliament building was followed by a hatchet attack on two New York City policemen
More

Search Underway at New Site in Mexico Missing Students Case

This week marked one month since the students went missing after clashing with police in mysterious circumstances
More

Public Transport in Latin America, Asia Most Dangerous for Women

Thousands of women and gender experts were questioned to create the listing
More