Saturday, April 24, 2010

World Bank Announces Launch of Haiti Reconstruction Fund

Women walk through a ravine in badly earthquake-damaged Peguy Ville neighborhood at the end of March in Pétionville, Haiti.

The World Bank said Saturday it has launched the Haiti Reconstruction Fund to help rebuild the quake-ravaged country and will contribute additional funding of 189 million dollars.

“The trust fund is set up, it’s up and running,” said Yvonne Tsikata, the bank’s director for Caribbean countries.

Although she could not provide details on how much money the fund would manage, Tsikata told a press briefing it would benefit from at least 14 donor countries, from Brazil to Canada, Estonia, Saudi Arabia and the United States.

Directors expected to oversee projects in Haiti for around a decade, from clearing storm drains and building sound housing for quake victims to improving transportation and electricity networks and bolstering the government’s ability to function.

The fund regroups the World Bank, UN agencies and the Inter-American Development Bank, and was created to “to mobilize and allocate resources from the international community to support Haiti’s plan for recovery and development,” director Josef Leitmann said.

Fund managers would work “in a manner that builds the capacity of the Haitian state and society in the longer term,” he added.

Addressing fears that funds could fuel corruption, Tsikata said Haiti had made significant progress on the issue and added: “We are putting in place systems that will help detect if there is corruption and make sure there is some recourse if indeed it is detected.”

Photograph by: Lee Celano, Getty Images, Canwest News Service

Source: CalgaryHerald

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