Haiti is faced with an “immense challenge” to rise from the shambles left by January’s massive earthquake, Haitian President Rene Preval said during a donors’ conference June 2 in the Dominican Republic. But Haiti will be able to bounce back stronger, he assured participants.
The World Summit on the Future of Haiti gathered representatives from more than 55 countries to follow up on the New York donors conference held in March and further define an action plan for Haiti’s reconstruction.
Members of the Interim Commission for the Reconstruction of Haiti were introduced at the Dominican Republic conference. Its administrative structure and timetable were also unveiled, according to a declaration released at the conclusion of the summit. The commission will be formally launched June 7 and will have its first meeting on June 14.
The interim commission was proposed during the New York conference and later approved by the Haitian government. It will be co-headed by Haitian Prime Minister Jean-Max Bellerive and former U.S. President Bill Clinton, who is also the U.N.’s special envoy to Haiti.
Participants of the conference also considered a proposal to provide direct budgetary support to the Haitian government on top of the more than USD15 million dollars pledged during the New York reconstruction conference.
Discussions also focused on decentralization, the sustainability of human settlements and investment opportunities, promotion of industrial and agricultural development and establishment of education as a national priority.
Donor countries and international organizations agreed to review the programs and projects submitted for funding to identify and state the specific ones they would support based on their areas of interests.
The conference also sought to extract more of the USD5 billion pledged by donors during a conference in New York in March, according to Agence France-Presse.
Only Brazil has so far delivered fully on its commitment, as Devex has reported. The country has provided Haiti with USD15 million worth of direct budget support and contributed USD40 million to the World Bank-managed multidonor trust fund for Haiti’s reconstruction, according to Miami Herald. Brazil pledged USD55 million during the New York conference.
Meanwhile, Clinton expressed disappointment over the progress on relocating people in the country. Clinton said he noted a lack of coordination among aid groups, conflicts between quake victims and landowners and lack of clear government directives during his tour of the city of Leogane.
While in Leogane, Clinton announced a USD1 million pledge from his foundation to help Haiti prepare for its upcoming hurricane season. Earlier, the Clinton Foundation and Haitian government has pledged USD1 million each to support the operational cost of the interim reconstruction commission.