130 countries attended a conference held at the United Nations headquarters, New York entitled “Towards a New Future for Haiti” to urge 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 including $ 3.8 billion to implement specific projects over the 18 coming months.
H.E. Hamad bin Jassem, the Prime Minister said the portion of Qatar donation was to support education, health and provision of shelter in Haiti.
The United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Haitian President René Préval, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and her husband Bill Clinton, the UN special envoy to Haiti, attended the conference in addition to the main donors of Haiti, Brazil, Canada, the European Union, France and Spain and many international governmental and non-governmental organizations. The World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) also participated in conference. Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Qatar Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabr Al-Thani and a number of permanent representatives to the United Nations also attended the conference.
Ban urged donors to provide $ 11.5 billion over the next 10 years to rebuild Haiti, which was devastated by a massive earthquake in January, calling for a smart reconstruction of the Caribbean country. According to the 10-year plan, $ 3.9 billion will be directed to specific projects over the next 18 months.” He said the flash appeal launched after the earthquake is still receiving a response, but the donations received are less than 50% of the total donation ($ 1.4 billion.) He warned of flooding risk as the rainy season approaches, on the health and lives of internally displaced persons as well as on the sewage systems.
The President of Haiti presented the comprehensive plan for financing reconstruction, including education. “We have to learn lessons from this terrible disaster,” he said. His Government demonstrated that more than 300,000 people had died in the earthquake, 1.3 million people had been left homeless and 600,000 now lived in temporary camps without sufficient food or access to sanitation.
He called on the United Nations to create a rapid humanitarian intervention force, or a team of “red hats” who could intervene following a disaster. He announced that the Interim Reconstruction Commission would be headed by Prime Minister Jean Max Belerif and President Bill Clinton, with the participation of two Haitian legislators, representatives of local authorities, syndicates and business sector and a delegation from the Caribbean Trade Organization.
Clinton said the United States would pledge $ 1.15 billion for Haiti’s long-term reconstruction and recovery calling for a “change in the approach used with the challenges facing Haiti.” She said, “Haiti’s leaders shall take responsibility for rebuilding Haiti and shall take difficult actions to guide the recovery process effectively and transparently.”
“We, in the international community have to cooperate with government instead of rallying behind it and financing scattered projects instead of the long-term investment needed by Haiti now,” she said. She added that all financial donations must be made in a smarter way that produces real results for Haitians
Catherine Ashton, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, asserted that the international community should support the government of Haiti that leads the efforts of reconstruction. She said the European Union was pledging €1.235 billion ($1.6 billion) towards the action plan. In total, member States and citizens of the European Union had contributed close to €3 billion. She also stressed the need for a new social contract for the vulnerable people.
Brazilian Foreign Minister Celso Amorim stated that his country would contribute $ 172 million. French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner pledged France would provide €20 million – €5 million a year before the end of the month.
Bill Clinton thanked the Haitian president for having invited him to co-chair the interim commission stressing that his main goal is increasing contributions from different countries and donors and decreasing costs.