Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Donors Conference in Santo Domingo

AHP News - March 16, 2010 - English translation + Selected Headlines (Unofficial)
At the Santo-Domingo technical preparatory conference, Prime Minister Bellerive proposes a multilateral fiduciary fund to administer Haiti's reconstruction projects

Santo-Domingo, March 16, 2010 – (AHP) - Haitian Prime Minister Jean Max Bellerive, speaking Tuesday at the opening of the international donors technical preparatory conference in Santo Domingo, proposed the creation of a multilateral fiduciary fund to administer funds for the rebuilding of Haiti after the devastating January 12th earthquake that caused more than 200,000 deaths.

The conference being held through Wednesday at the Santo Domingo hotel drew officials and technical experts from 28 countries as well as international organizations. Their conclusions will be presented at the international donors conference to be held at the UN on March 31st in New York. The conference is designed to assess the damage caused by the earthquake, valued at up to slightly more than $14 billion. Reliable sources in Washington are confident that the total needed for reconstruction over the next 10 years is closer to $17 billion.

However in the immediate term, the prime minister said that Haiti still needs the support of the international community to meet a variety of needs including potable water, food and shelter.

He also pointed out that in 30 seconds the earthquake destroyed 45% of the countries Gross Domestic Product. Some 400 schools, comprising 90% of schools in the West department, were destroyed, he said. No sector was spared, he explained. Now we should talk in terms of the country's future development, which will require sufficient money, and credible organization and structure. In that regard, the prime minister noted that in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Indonesia, special funds were created that are similar to what he is proposing for Haiti.

" We propose, with the assistance of the international community, the establishment of a similar structure", he said. He has in mind a multinational fund based on a plan developed by Haiti that would be administered over the next 18 months by the Haitian government and the international community. After that time, the fund would be managed by a development agency for the rebuilding of Haiti.

Jean Max Bellerive stressed the need to rapidly rebuild the capacity of the Haitian state to finance its own projects and to do so in the most transparent way possible.

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