World Bank pledges funds for Haiti, takes charge of global financial contributions

14:25, April 01, 2010      

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The World Bank pledged on Wednesday 479 million U.S. dollars for Haiti's recovery and development through June 2011, and confirmed it would manage the global Haitian Reconstruction Fund.

"The key to this is to combine capable Haitian ownership with an effective donor partnership," President of the World Bank Robert B. Zoellick told reporters after addressing Haiti's donors conference at the UN Headquarters in New York. "To make it easier for the various donor countries, the Bank will be serving as the fiscal agent for the multi-donor trust fund that we set up with other international agencies so as to try to assure stronger fiduciary controls, accounting, and assurance that the money will go through the Haitian government where it belongs."

Of the total 479 million dollars, 250 million is new funding. That includes 151 million in grants, a 39 million write-off from canceling Haiti's remaining debt to the Bank and 60 million in investments from the Bank's private sector arm, the International Finance Corporation (IFC).

The new funding will rebuild infrastructure, reduce vulnerability to future disasters, and create economic opportunity outside of the country's capital Port-au-Prince, where hundreds of thousands fled after the Jan. 12 earthquake.

The Haiti Reconstruction Fund, which was set up by the Caribbean nation, will enable donors, the Inter-American Development Bank and the United Nations to work in a coordinated, transparent and efficient manner taking into account the government's priorities.

Zoellick said the Bank's experience in Aceh, Indonesia, after the tsunami, provides a model of the types of fiduciary controls that will be needed in Haiti, such as a special investigative unit, special requirements in transparency and an auditing system.

He suggested a review of the Fund's implementation in six months, around the time of the UN General Assembly meets.

"This is a chance to do things differently," said Zoellick. "It 's not just about how much money is raised, it's about delivering real results on the ground for the Haitian people through good governance and effective cooperation by donors."

Source: Xinhua


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