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Home >> World
UPDATED: 11:12, July 25, 2006
Haiti hosts international conference for 5 billion dollar aid
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International donors and lenders met on Monday for the first time in Haiti to raise 5 billion U.S. dollars in aid, according to reports.

The conference attracted representatives from Canada, France, the United States, the European Union, the International Monetary Fund and the Inter American Development Bank.

Haitian Prime Minister Jacques-Edouard Alexis' Office said in a statement that the conference would allow contributor nations to "show their priorities regarding sustainable development, public safety and stability".

Haiti's Planning and External Cooperation Minister Jean-Max Bellerive said his government had drafted a five-year plan focusing on rebuilding education, health care and road systems.

The country has been trying to rebuild itself following the collapse of Jean-Bertrand Aristide's government in 2004. The United Nations ran the country for nearly two years following the ousting of the president.

The European Commission recently approved an aid package for Haiti of at least 233 million euros (295 million U.S. dollars) in the form of European Development Fund aid between 2008 and 2013, to repair infrastructure on Haiti's portion of Hispaniola, the Caribbean island it shares with the Dominican Republic.

The United States and Canada also said recently they would boost their assistance to the tiny Caribbean country which is under the burden of foreign debt, which has risen to more than 1 billion dollars.

Haiti is one of the poorest countries in the Americas, where 70 percent of the working-age population is unemployed and more than 60 percent of its eight million citizens live on less than one dollar a day.

Source: Xinhua

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