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Haiti: WB Reaffirms Support for Country’s Reconstruction

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Press Release No:2012/062/LAC

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, September 7, 2011 — Pamela Cox, World Bank Vice President for Latin America and the Caribbean, and Axel van Trotsenburg, World Bank Vice President for Concessional Finance and Global Partnerships, will begin this Thursday a two-day visit to Haiti to reaffirm the Bank’s commitment to the country’s reconstruction efforts. 

The World Bank high level officials will meet with Haiti’s President Michel Martelly to discuss his priorities and how the Bank can continue to support the country. They will then meet with representatives from the public and the private sectors to exchange views on Haiti’s opportunities and challenges.  

"The World Bank’s assistance directly supports the Government of Haiti’s development strategy and its most pressing needs, particularly housing reconstruction and education, which will contribute to the country’s long-term recovery,” said Cox. “The Bank is also working to address disaster risk management, increase agricultural productivity, create jobs, and improve access to basic services.” 

 

On Thursday, Cox will join President Martelly and Wilson Jeudy, Mayor of the municipality of Delmas, to launch the “Port-au-Prince Neighborhood Reconstruction and Housing Program”. This program is funded by a US$30 million grant from the Bank’s International Development Association (IDA) and a US$65 million grant from the Haiti Reconstruction Fund (HRF) and implemented by the World Bank. It supports the reconstruction efforts of the government and seeks to create safe conditions for the return of residents of some of the most severely affected areas in the Haitian capital, help them start repairing and/or rebuilding their homes, and resume economic activities. 

The international community is committed to supporting Haiti’s ongoing reconstruction,” said van Trotsenburg, who oversees IDA, the Bank’s fund for the poorest. “After the earthquake, IDA support, provided exclusively grants, funded rapid response projects on the ground. With subsequent support from donors, IDA also mobilized US$500 million for Haiti through a special Crisis Response Window to contribute to the longer term economic recovery efforts." 

On Friday, both officials will attend the launch of President Martelly’s education initiative, “Lekol Timoun Yo” (School for Your Children), which is partially financed by the World Bank’s Education for All (EFA) Project. President Martelly has made free and compulsory education one of the central pillars of his government. There are an estimated 400,000-500,000 children out of school in the country.

The Government of Haiti has raised US$16 million through fees on international calls and financial transactions to finance education services. The government has decided to channel these resources through the existing tuition waiver mechanism, originally established in 2007 with World Bank support, and co-financed by the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).

The World Bank Vice Presidents and President Martelly will also discuss the achievements of the EFA project and a potential expansion of the tuition waiver mechanism. 

Since 2007, the World Bank, together with resources by the Education for All Fast-Track Initiative, has spent US$70 million on education, financing the tuition of about 175,000 Haitian children and serving over 70,000 children hot meals in school every day. In addition, the Bank has supported the training of more than 3,000 teachers, helped with the reconstruction of schools and is accompanying the government in the drafting of the National Action Plan for Safer Schools. 
 

About the World Bank Support to Haiti

To help Haiti recover from the January 12 earthquake, the World Bank Group pledged US$479 million, including relieving Haiti’s debt to the World Bank, which has been completed. As of August 2011, the World Bank has delivered US$410 million (86 percent) of its pledge in the form of new funding, disbursements, private sector support, and debt relief. On average, the World Bank disbursed close to US$10 million per month over this period. In addition, IDA donors have allocated US$500 million to Haiti from IDA 16’s Crisis Window for reconstruction. With about 10 percent of pledged aid flows, IDA becomes one of Haiti’s 5 largest donors.

Selected Emergency Response Results:

·         Assessed structural state of 400,000 buildings in Port au Prince; these assessments are crucial to reconstruction planning.

·         Removed 100,000 cubic meters of trash and debris from key drainage canals in Port-au-Prince, reducing flood risk to camps in the capital.

·         Provided 50,000 solar lanterns to families in Port-au-Prince, increasing safety and reducing fire hazard.

·         Provided food supplements to 200,000 children under 2, and health care services to pregnant and lactating women and infants in collaboration with the World Food Program and the Pan-American Health Organization.

·         Funded 180,000 children to attend school and fed 80,000 school children a hot meal every day.

 

Contacts:

Melanie Zipperer (202) 468-9841, mzipperer@worldbank.org

 

For more information on the World Bank’s work in Haiti, please visit:
http://www.worldbank.org/haiti and www.worldbank.org/ida      

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