More Than 5 Billion Promised to Rebuild Haiti

    More Than 5 Billion Promised to Rebuild Haiti
    Photo: AP
    Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon listen as Haitian President Preval speaks at a donors conference Wednesday

    This is the VOA Special English Economics Report.

    More than fifty countries and organizations have promised to give more than five billion dollars to help Haiti rebuild after an earthquake destroyed much of the country in January.

    United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said the amount of money was greater than expected. Mister Ban, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Haitian President Rene Preval led a conference of donors at the U.N. Wednesday.

    The Secretary-General said nations and their international partners promised five billion three hundred million dollars for the next two years and almost ten billion dollars in total.
    The United States promised more than one billion dollars. The European Union said it would give more than one and one half billion dollars.

    Mister Ban urged the donors to carry out their promises. He said the donors must make sure Haiti gets the money it needs when it needs it. And they must guarantee that the money is well spent.

    The money will be used to meet emergency needs, such as water, food and shelter for homeless people in Haiti. It will also be used to rebuild Haiti's infrastructure –its important systems and services. These include transportation and communications systems, water and power lines, and public institutions including schools and hospitals. The money will also create new jobs, and put the country on the road to sustainable development. It is expected to take ten years and more than eleven billion dollars to finish the job.

    Secretary Clinton said donors and the government of Haiti showed a new level of international support, coordination and cooperation. Haitian President Rene Preval expressed his thanks and said the Haitian people and government would do their part to make the country's rebuilding a success.

    Haiti's government will have the major responsibility for supervising those plans. It will work closely with international partners, including the United Nations, the United States and international financial organizations.

    The huge earthquake that struck Haiti killed more than two hundred thirty thousand people. It left more than a million other people homeless in a nation where most citizens were already living in deep poverty.

    And that's the VOA Special English Economics Report, with reporting by Margaret Besheer. You can comment on this story and other programs at I'm Steve Ember.