US Unveils Contribution to Haiti Reconstruction Fund

A worker helps build USAID-funded transitional shelters in Haiti. The U.S. will contribute USD120 million to the Haiti Reconstruction Fund. Photo by: Kendra Helmer / USAID

The U.S. will contribute USD120 million to the World Bank-managed Haiti Reconstruction Fund, a senior U.S. official said Oct. 6.

Cheryl Mills, chief of staff to U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, explained that the U.S. wants up to 75 percent of its contribution to go toward housing repairs and rubble removal, news agencies report.

The remaining funds will be invested in an educational reform program spearheaded by the International Development Bank and the reconstruction of a damaged public hospital in Port-au-Prince. France is also supporting the hospital reconstruction project, according to the Miami Herald.

>> Bureaucracy Delays US Aid for Haiti Reconstruction - AP

The announcement comes as the United States, among other countries, faces criticisms over the stagnant delivery of the reconstruction funds promised at a Haiti donors’ conference in New York in March.

The Associated Press says it is unclear whether the USD120 million contribution will come from a USD1.15 billion supplemental budget request for Haiti reconstruction approved earlier this year. None of that money has yet been delivered, according to AP.

The announcement also coincides with the recent meeting of the Interim Haiti Recovery Commission at which 18 projects worth USD777 million were approvd.

The projects include two UNICEF initiatives aimed at preventing gender-based violence and improving the country’s education sector. Two IDB schemes, on reconstruction of the country’s education system and development of small and medium-sized enterprises, were also approved.

>> UNICEF Gets Haiti Rebuilding Panel’s Thumbs Up for 2 Projects

Appalling’ situation at UN camps

Meanwhile, the U.S.-based charity Refugees International has slammed the U.N.’s management of earthquake camps in Haiti. U.N. agencies in charge of the camps are dysfunctional and inexperienced, the organization said according to BBC.

“Living in squalid, overcrowded camps for a prolonged period has led to aggravated levels of violence and appalling standards of living,” Refugees International said in a recently published report dubbed “Haiti: Still Trapped in the Emergency Phase.”

The group criticized the U.N. for not prioritizing the security of camp residents despite these “alarming conditions.”

About the author

  • Ivy Mungcal

    As former senior staff writer, Ivy Mungcal contributed to several Devex publications. Her focus is on breaking news, and in particular on global aid reform and trends in the United States, Europe, the Caribbean, and the Americas. Before joining Devex in 2009, Ivy produced specialized content for U.S. and U.K.-based business websites.