The European Union is not dragging its feet in disbursing aid to Haiti, according to European Commissioner for Development Andris Piebalgs, noting that the bloc is on track in terms of its aid commitments to the quake-ravaged nation.
“We are pulling out all the stops to speed up implementation [of EU-backed projects in Haiti],” Piebalgs said Feb. 23 in a conference in Brussels on Haitian rehabilitation.
In last year’s donors conference for Haiti, the EU pledged €1.235 billion ($1.7 billion), of which €331.9 million was disbursed in 2010. The amount includes pledges from the European Commission, 18 EU member states and the European Investment Bank. The commission committed €460 million, which was increased to €522 million.
“More concrete activities will start this year, with disbursements against the pledge forecast to double, to around €150 million,” Piebalgs said. “Joint programming with our Member States covering the new uncommitted funds will also see us make good on our New York pledge.”
The European Commission will focus its funding on governance, budget support and infrastructure, while EU member states will mainly support education, health, water and sanitation and rural development initiatives, according to Piebalgs.
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