November 12, 2010 in Nation/World

U.S. reconstruction aid heads to Haiti

Contribution is part of $1.15 billion U.S. pledge
Jonathan M. Katz Associated Press
 

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti – The first portion of U.S. reconstruction money for Haiti is on its way more than seven months after it was promised to help the country rebuild from the Jan. 12 earthquake.

The U.S. government will transfer $120 million – about one-tenth of the total amount pledged – to the World Bank-run Haiti Reconstruction Fund in the next few days, U.S. State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said.

“Having completed the process as outlined in the appropriation, we are now moving aggressively to commit that money to Haiti’s reconstruction,” Crowley said.

A State Department aide said money destined for the fund would go toward rubble removal, housing, a partial credit guarantee fund, support for an Inter-American Development Bank education reform plan, and budget support for the Haitian government. The fund’s projects must be endorsed by the reconstruction commission co-chaired by former President Bill Clinton and Haitian Prime Minister Jean-Max Bellerive.

The U.S. money will nearly double the current reconstruction fund, into which eight other countries have contributed $135 million. It is to arrive almost exactly 10 months after the earthquake destroyed most of Haiti’s capital and surrounding areas and killed an estimated 230,000 to 300,000 people.

The funds are part of a $1.15 billion pledge made by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton at the March 31 U.N. donors conference for Haiti.

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