Over US $5 billion pledged for Haiti's recovery

Mar 31, 2010

Reconstruction of ‘a new, transformed Haiti’ begins

United Nations member states and international partners pledged $5.3 billion for the next 18 months to begin Haiti’s path to long-term recovery from the January 12 earthquake. Over 150 countries and international organizations gathered March 31 at UN headquarters in New York in support of the people and Government of Haiti.

“Today it has been demonstrated that the international community will continue to support Haiti in the long-term and we will meet the needs,” said René Préval, President of Haiti. “Small and large countries contributed, demonstrating that Haiti is not on its own. Thank you. The international community did their part, and now the Haitian people will do their share. The recovery process must continue, preparing the ground for long-term development and investments.”

The money pledged at the donors’ conference, Towards a New Future in Haiti , will be used not only rebuild Haiti over the long-haul, but to build back better.

During the conference, the Government of Haiti presented the Action Plan for National Recovery and Development of Haiti, a roadmap that outlines their priorities for short and long-term reconstruction, and donors committed to align their assistance to that Plan. .

“The leaders of Haiti must take responsibility for their country’s reconstruction,” said Hillary Clinton, US Secretary of State, pledging $1.15 billion for Haiti’s long-term reconstruction. “And we in the global community must also do things differently. It will be tempting to fall back on old habits – to work around the government rather than to work with them as partners, or to fund a scattered array of well-meaning projects rather than making the deeper, long-term investments that Haiti needs now.”

Since the devastating earthquake, which killed more than 220,000 people and left Haiti’s government and economic infrastructure in ruins, over 140 countries, civil society organizations, private companies and multilateral institutions such as the World Bank have pledged immediate humanitarian assistance for early recovery work, including food, sanitation and rubble clearance.

“As we move from emergency aid to long-term reconstruction, what we envision is a wholesale national renewal, a sweeping exercise in nation-building on a scale and scope not seen in generations,” said UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. “Today, we have mobilized to give Haiti and its people what they need most: hope for a new future. We have made a good start, we need now to deliver.”

“The international community must support Haiti as it leads the recovery process – and this involves not only the government but also civil society organizations and the private sector,” said President Bill Clinton, UN Special Envoy for Haiti. “My job will be to maximize the inputs and the impact of all donors – in a transparent way."

During the conference, speakers emphasized the need for all stakeholders, most importantly the Haitian people, as well as the Diaspora community, state and local governments to be included in the the reconstruction process. They indicated that the process must offer new opportunities for economic advancement for Haitian people, specifically women.

“The UN will support short term job creation; the development of micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises; and the creation of the enabling environment needed for investors to help generate sustainable employment over the long term,” said Helen Clark, UNDP Administrator and Chair of the UN Development Group. “The inclusion of women at decision-making tables will be vital for lasting progress.”

The conference was co-hosted by the UN and the United States, in cooperation with the Government of Haiti, and is co-chaired by Brazil, Canada, the European Union, France and Spain. The total amount of pledges over the next three years and beyond added up to $9.9 billion from 59 countries and International organizations.

Quotes from the Conference

•    “Countries should offer duty-free quota and free access to Haitian goods into their markets” as a means to support Haitian trade, said Celso Amorim, Minister of Exterior Relations of Brazil, which pledged $172 million “This is a test-case for the international community to show willingness and to work together for a just and undisputed cause.”

•    “This is not the end of a process but the beginning of a long road with the international community towards Haiti’s long-term recovery,” said Lawrence Cannon, Foreign Minister of Canada, which pledged $375 million at the conference. “With Haitians in the leadership, it is essential to place the interests of the Haitian people in the first plan, giving rise to a new middle class and a prosperous private sector.”

•     “The Plan of Action is the Haitians’ view towards its own future. It is Haitians leadership with a 10-year plan of action for long-term development, decentralization, investment in agriculture, infrastructure and a new legal framework,” said Catherine Ashton, Vice-President of the European Commission, which pledged $1.65 billion.

•     “Health, housing, education and culture are also essential in the new Haiti that is to be rebuilt under the leadership of Haitians. This is the beginning of a new path,” Said Bernard Kouchner, Minister of Foreign Affairs of France,  which pledged $194 million.

•    “We can do things better this time, following Haiti in its recovery path. The goal is to have a strong state, capable of addressing the Haitians’ needs and of sustaining a more developed country – socially and economically,” said Maria Fernandez Teresa de La Vega, Deputy Prime Minister of Spain, which pledged $467 million.

Other Resources:

Total Pledges for Haiti’s long-term recovery (in real time): http://portal.refondation.ht/livefeed/
Haiti Conference: www.haiticonference.org
Haiti Reconstruction Plan (in English): http://www.haiticonference.org/documents.html
Conference Agenda: http://www.haiticonference.org/agenda.html
List of participating countries: http://www.haiticonference.org/participants.html
UNDP in Haiti: http://www.undp.org/haiti

UNDP Around the world