High-Level Haiti Donors' Conference to be held

Mar 29, 2010

New York -- The United Nations and United States, in cooperation with the Haitian Government, will convene a high-level donors’ conference - ‘Towards a New Future in Haiti’ - on 31 March at United Nations Headquarters in New York to secure the financial resources necessary for Haiti’s recovery, and by doing so, demonstrate the international community’s steadfast commitment to the people of Haiti as they struggle to rebuild their lives after the devastating earthquake.

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Haitian President René Préval and the UN Special Envoy for Haiti, former President Bill Clinton, are all expected to attend and make opening remarks.

The conference will be co-chaired by Brazil, Canada, the European Union, France, and Spain as leading donors to Haiti. More than 100 other countries are expected to participate.

The earthquake, which struck Port-au-Prince and its environs on 12 January, resulted in the deaths of more than 220,000 people, directly affecting 1.5 million. Of that, 1.3 million are living in temporary shelter in Port-au-Prince and more than 500,000 have left the capital to find shelter elsewhere in the country. 

The total value of damage and losses sustained has been calculated at approximately $7 billion, more than 120 per cent of Haiti’s 2009 gross domestic product (GDP). Haiti was already the poorest country in the Western hemisphere before the earthquake.

A Post-Disaster Needs Assessment, prepared by the Haitian Government with the support of the international community, put the total value of needs at $11.5 billion for the social sectors (water and sanitation, health, education, and food security), infrastructure (housing, transport, telecommunications, energy, urban and administrative infrastructure), production sectors (agriculture, industry, trade, finance and banking and tourism) and environment and disaster risk management.

The Government of Haiti’s target for the conference is to raise $3.8 billion for the initial 18-month period of the country’s recovery and reconstruction. Priorities for assistance will be set by the Government of Haiti.

“During the coming days, the world’s leaders will rise to stand by Haiti in solidarity —a solidarity to be measured in years, along after the initial shock of disaster has passed. I am confident that, together, we can set Haiti on the road to a new and very different future,” stated Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.
According to the President of the Republic of Haiti, René Préval, “This is the opportunity for us to tell the entire world that the reconstruction of our country must be above all a national effort, an appropriate reflection of the solidarity shown right after the earthquake by all the Haitian people. It’s also the opportunity for the Government to express on behalf of the nation, in a strong and united voice, its gratitude to the international community for its assistance in support of Haiti’s strategic vision and choices for the reconstruction of our country.”

This conference is about securing resources for Haiti’s long-term reconstruction,” said UNDP Administrator and Chair of the UN Development Group Helen Clark.  “These resources could form the lifeblood of Haiti’s recovery from this devastating earthquake and create the foundation for the long term recovery and development Haitians deserve.”

While the donors’ conference is focusing the world’s attention on Haiti’s recovery and development needs, the United Nations continues its vital humanitarian and peacekeeping efforts on the ground.

Notes for Editors

Journalists interested in covering the conference, if not already accredited to the United Nations, should contact:   http://www.un.org/media/accreditation/

The entire conference will be webcast starting at 9:00am. http://www.un.org/webcast/
A conference website has been established at:  http://www.haiticonference.org/

For further information, including interview requests, please contact

Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General (Vannina Maestracci): +1 917 367 0293

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) (Sausan Ghosheh): +1 212 906 5390

World Food Programme (Bettina Luescher): +1 646 556 6909

United Nations Children’s Fund (Chris de Bono): +1 212 303 7984

Department of Peacekeeping Operations (Nick Birnback): +1 917 367 5044

Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (Stephanie Bunker): +1 917 367 5126

Office of the Special Envoy for Haiti (Jehane Sedky): +1 646 781-4107

Useful links

Office of the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Haiti: www.haitispecialenvoy.org

MINUSTAH page on DPKO website: http://www.un.org/en/peacekeeping/missions/minustah/index.shtml

MINUSTAH website (French only): http://minustah.org/

UN News Centre News Focus - Haiti earthquake page: http://www.un.org/apps/news/infocusRel.asp?infocusID=91&Body=Haiti&Body1=

UN YouTube page: http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=4F3959441305AAA3

WHO YouTube page: http://www.youtube.com/who
ReliefWeb Haiti Earthquake: http://www.reliefweb.int/rw/dbc.nsf/doc108?OpenForm&emid=EQ-2010-000009-HTI&rc=2

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