IDB announces two-year Haiti funding package

By Becca Durrant01 April 2010

The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) will provide US$ 400 million in new grants over the next two years to help Haiti in its national recovery plan following the January 12 earthquake.

In a statement the IDB said a US$ 100 million grant is expected to be approved for Haiti this month, including US$ 30 million for temporary housing, US$ 15 million for water and sanitation, US$ 3 million for an e-government platform and US$ 50 million in budget support for the Haitian government.

Later this year the IDB will provide additional resources for investments in transportation infrastructure, schools, and natural disaster prevention and mitigation.

At an international donors meeting held at the United Nations, IDB president Luis Alberto Moreno hailed the Haitian government's vision to turn the worst natural disaster in their country's history into an opportunity to build a "new Haiti" with stronger democratic institutions, a more dynamic economy and a more equal society.

"We have witnessed close-up the capacity of the people of Haiti to overcome difficult challenges and get back on their feet quickly.

"With the assistance of those of us in this room, and from others outside as well, we can help turn the vision of the new Haiti into a reality," he said.

Last month the IDB's board of governors agreed to provide Haiti some US$ 2 billion in grants over the next decade and to contribute US$ 479 million to cancel the country's remaining debt to the Bank.

In addition, the IDB will assist Haiti in setting up an interim reconstruction commission that will track the flow of foreign assistance and ensure that the national development plan is carried out in a timely and transparent manner.

The IDB said it has long since been a leading source of long-term financing for Haiti. At present it has an active portfolio of around US$ 700 million, of which some US$ 330 million is undisbursed. About 40 % of the financing is in infrastructure projects, 20 % in agriculture and environment, 25 % in basic services and 15 % in governance and institutional capacity building to strengthen the Haitian public sector.

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