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March 31, 10

NEWS / Ban opens donor conference with call for wholesale rebuilding of Haiti

31 March 2010 – Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today called for the wholesale rebuilding of Haiti as he urged donors to provide $11.5 billion over the next 10 years for the reconstruction of the Caribbean nation that was devastated by a massive earthquake in January.

“What we envision, today, is wholesale national renewal… a sweeping exercise in national-building on a scale and scope not seen in generations,” the Secretary-General told delegates from more than 130 nations who have gathered at United Nations Headquarters in New York for a high-level meeting aimed at securing the financial resources necessary to help Haiti recover and rebuild after January’s devastating earthquake.

Some $3.9 billion of the $11.5 billion being sought will be channelled into specific projects through a newly-created Interim Haiti Recovery Commission during the next 18 months.

Mr. Ban said reconstruction work must move in tandem with emergency relief and urged donors to provide further support to the revised humanitarian appeal for Haiti. That appeal is calling for $1.4 billion, but is currently only 50 per cent funded.

“The rainy season is fast approaching. Some camps for displaced persons are at risk of flooding. Heath and sanitation issues are growing more serious,” Mr. Ban said.

Haiti’s President René Préval, United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and UN Special Envoy for Haiti Bill Clinton are also co-hosting the conference, entitled Towards a New Future in Haiti.

The conference is co-chaired by Brazil, Canada, the European Union, France, and Spain as leading donors to Haiti, which was already the poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere before the disaster.

The 12 January quake struck close to the capital, Port-au-Prince, and resulted in the deaths of more than 200,000 people. It also left one third of the country’s 9 million people in need of aid. The total value of damage and losses sustained has been calculated at approximately $7 billion, according to the UN Development Programme (UNDP).

At the conference, the Prime Minister of Haiti, Jean-Max Bellerive, will present the country’s needs and its plans for recovery. Countries, international organizations, and other partners will have an opportunity to pledge resources, to coordinate in support of Haiti’s long-term recovery and to commit to a sustained effort to support the country.


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