Haitis finance minister has urged international donors
not just to help his country rebuild after its devastating
earthquake, but to lift it out of misery for good.
We want to take this opportunity to design another
Haiti, Ronald Boudin told Emerging Markets in an
exclusive interview in Cancún.
The IDB agreed this weekend to erase $479 million of Haitian
debt and to provide an extra $200 million in annual grants to
the country as part of its recapitalization deal.
Now the ball is in the court of the international donor
community, which meets on March 31 at the United Nations in New
York to decide how much to donate and how.
The current proposal is for Haiti which was the western
hemispheres poorest country even before the earthquake
to receive $3.8 billion in aid for the 18 next months,
and a total for the next decade of $11.5 billion.
Ciro de Falco, the head of the IDBs Special Task Force
for Haiti, which is coordinating the international aid effort,
said: Were focusing on $3.8 billion, and if we get
$3.8 billion in New York that will be a great
Boudin said of the proposed amounts: Thats the
minimum. The message for the international community is to help
Haiti rebuild the country, to manifest their solidarity [...]
and not to forget the urgent needs now before they
We have to restart the schools, we have to provide seeds
and fertilizers for the farmers so that they can have a good
season, he said.
Boudin said a major purpose of aid would be to help Haiti
decentralize. Having government so centered on the capital
Port-au-Prince meant that when the quake struck, the country
De Falco said there is little dispute over the initial $3.8
billion, and that discussions will more likely centre on
whether Haiti has the capacity effectively to distribute this
much money in such a short period of time.
He said international organizations could take a cue from the
American public, as half of the households in the US had
donated money to Haiti in some form.
A senior IMF official said the Haitian government is facing a
budget gap of between $250 million and $350 million this year,
and that donor countries should consider contributing towards
IDB President Luis Alberto Moreno said: We will use all
the tools we have to help President Rene Preval and his
government so that they leave this episode behind as soon as
He said it was unacceptable that Haitians could only expect to
live to 52 on average, and that 8 out of 10 of them lived on
less than $2 a day. Now it was time to change the country for
Ive looked into eyes of the children of
Port-au-Prince, he said. Ive seen the trust
theyve deposited in us and their hope that this time we
wont leave them alone.