World pledges billions for Haiti's recovery

World pledges billions for Haiti's recovery

United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, left, listens as Haitian President Rene Garcia Preval address the opening session of the International Donors' Conference, at United Nations headquarters on Wednesday. AP

The conference, hosted by the Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon along with his special envoy for Haiti, Bill Clinton and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, received pledges worth billions of dollars for building back the Caribbean nation.

India, on its part, will be sending two police units to beef up security, and will also contribute part of the two million dollars for the reconstruction of a community health centre.

"In response to a request for additional peacekeepers... India is sending two additional Formed Police Units to Haiti," Vinod Jacob, a diplomat in the Indian mission told the delegates at the UN headquarters.

India is also joining Brazil and South Africa in expanding the India-Brazil-South Africa Trust Fund (IBSA) waste management project in Haiti to handle different type of wastes and is also in consultation with Haitian authorities on reconstructing one of the main Government buildings.

"IBSA plans to spend over two million dollars in the efforts and for the reconstruction of a community health centre in Haiti this year," Jacob said.

The earthquake that struck the poor Caribbean nation on January 12 destroyed large parts of the capital city Port-au-Prince, killing more than 200,000 people and displacing 1.2 million people.

The UN has described the damage in Haiti as "unprecedented" and today Ban asked the international community to provide USD 11 billion for long-term rebuilding efforts in Haiti over the next ten years.

"Member States of the United Nations, and international partners, have pledged USD 5.3 billion for the next two years and USD 9. 9 billion, in total, for the next three years and beyond," Ban said after the Conference.

"This is the down payment Haiti needs for wholesale national renewal. It is the way to building back better."

Scepticism, however, persists about whether nations will stick to their pledges and how the Haitian authorities will handle the funds.

Responding to concerns about misuse of money by corrupt government officials, Ban said, "We have agreed to a robust Internet-based tracking system to report on the delivery of the assistance and an emphasis on measuring performance and results.

The pledge will be published and assistance flows tracked through a web-based system being established by the United Nations with the Government of Haiti," he added.

In the immediate aftermath of earthquake, India gave the Haitian government USD five million and Indian peacekeepers played a critical role in providing emergency services in the weeks following the natural disaster.

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