1. Full support to H. E. Mr. President René Préval and H. E. Mr. Prime Minister Jean-Max Bellerive. They are the democratic elected Government of Haiti, they should have the first and last words on everything.
2. It is getting really irritating and offensive the insistence in labeling the Government of Haiti as corrupt and/or weak.
- They can not be labeled as corrupts - neither this Government nor their predecessors - as they not even see the color of the money that come to Haiti, nor now neither before the earthquake.
Everything comes from outside to outsiders' organizations, most of them well intentioned, I hope, but with a clear sidestepping on the Government of Haiti.
- They can not be labeled as weak.
- First, before the earthquake, because of the progressive "underpowerment" of the State Machine by both external and internal forces.
- Second, after the earthquake, they were also victims with all their structures destroyed and many of their collaborators lost. It takes a time to recover the Governance ability from scratch beginning from a small improvised Police Station.
I could hear the record of Mr. Préval statement hours after the catastrophe and his Government, since than, is doing all of the possible given the situation.
- I understand that Haiti Government host George Bush for a while since this is not the time for hostilities of all kinds. But I take it, personally, as a lack of respectfulness demonstration and, thus, a huge offense.
I put in the account of the earthquake itself less then 25% of the destruction toll.
The rest 75% we owe to the policies imposed to Haiti, most of them by this man's Government.
- We would be glad, instead, if Haiti would be receiving H. E. The Former (even without finishing his mandate) President Jean-Bertrand Aristide in a mission aimed at comfort-giving, consultancy-help, and "politicless" (for a while) peacekeeping, since it gets the negotiated approval of the Haitian (and solely Haitian) authorities.
It may come through his former strong relations with Mr. Préval and the desire of both in putting Haiti's recovery above any other collective or individual interests.
These issues is being kept hidden but will emerge.
And it is impossible to rebuild a nation without full transparency.
The hidden agendas may mislead and undermine the whole process.
- Somebody is missing since ever: The Sovereign People of Haiti. We need to listen and absorb whatever they have to say.
- The external US pressure for legislative elections is unacceptable.
Haiti's people and authorities have the unique right and the duty of taking this decision alone without anybody's' help, opinion, suggestion or moreover this unthinkable kind of pressure.
Donors plan to put up $3.8 bln for Haiti rebuilding
Go to Original (Reuters AlertNet) >
* Target commitment discussed before March 31 conference
* Calls for good governance, transparency, elections
* Wide donor support for debt relief, IADB head says (Adds comments from IADB chief, paragraphs 13-14) By Manuel Jimenez
SANTO DOMINGO, March 18 (Reuters) - International donors are aiming to provide $3.8 billion over 18 months to help Haiti rebuild after its Jan. 12 earthquake, according to officials and experts preparing a high-level donors conference.
The initial short-term target figure came in a statement released late on Wednesday after a two-day meeting in the Dominican Republic of representatives of Haiti's government, donor nations, multilateral lenders, U.N. agencies and aid groups.
The preparatory meeting, ahead of a scheduled March 31 donors conference in New York, set out the broad outlines of a reconstruction strategy for the Caribbean nation whose economy and infrastructure were decimated by the quake.
The government of Haiti, the poorest state in the Western Hemisphere, says at least 222,570 people and possibly more than 300,000 were killed in what some experts are calling the deadliest natural disaster of modern times. "Donors are committing to provide $3.8 billion to finance the reconstruction and recovery of Haiti's priority needs, over a period of 18 months, as indicated in the Post-Disaster Needs Assessment (PDNA)," said the statement from the joint chairmen of the Santo Domingo experts' meeting.
Dominican Republic President Leonel Fernandez and Haitian Prime Minister Jean-Max Bellerive chaired the two days of discussions that brought together 40 nations and institutions.
The World Bank's director for the Caribbean, Yvonne Tsikata, described $3.8 billion as an "initial figure" contained in the PDNA document draft. "It's a short-term target. It's work in progress," she said in a conference call with reporters.
She said concrete commitments by donors would be made at the one-day "pledging conference" in New York on March 31.
The Santo Domingo meeting also announced a planned commitment to give Haiti's government an additional $350 million in direct budgetary support for 2010.
The World Bank's board on Thursday approved a $65 million grant to Haiti for restoring key central bank and finance ministry functions, and essential infrastructure.
To manage the long-term reconstruction, the experts in Santo Domingo proposed the creation of a Multi-Donors Trust Fund (MDTF) to be administered by a steering committee jointly formed by the Haitian government and donors.
The World Bank would supervise operation of the fund. In the report that it presented to the Santo Domingo meeting, Haiti's government assessed the damage caused by the quake at more than $7.7 billion dollars.
It estimated a total of $11.5 billion would be needed for reconstruction.
SUPPORT FOR DEBT FORGIVENESS
Speaking in an interview with Reuters, Inter-American Development Bank head Luis Moreno said on Thursday there was also wide support among donor countries to cancel about $1.2 billion in debts on Haiti's books. "Most of our shareholders have expressed a desire to do a debt relief of the outstanding amount owed by Haiti, of which the IADB has $441 million," Moreno said. He spoke ahead of the annual meetings of the IADB in Cancun, Mexico, this weekend.
Despite concerns about levels of government corruption in Haiti, which have stymied past aid efforts, the administration of Haitian President Rene Preval has insisted it should have the ultimate say in the reconstruction of the country.
Preval said on Tuesday that the Haitian presidency should have veto power over any reconstruction projects.
He has angrily described as "arrogant" U.S. State Department allegations of widespread corruption in his government.
His irritation has threatened to sour ties with Haiti's main quake relief partner, the United States, which has sent thousands of soldiers, doctors and aid workers to help.
Two former U.S. presidents, Bill Clinton, named by the United Nations as coordinator of the international relief effort, and George W. Bush, will visit Haiti on Monday.
The experts' statement said the donors fund would seek to ease pressure on the overcrowded and wrecked capital Port-au-Prince by supporting development outside of it. It would also seek to strengthen the private sector.
The document added that a commitment to good governance and transparency by the Haitian government was essential.
Occupying the western half of the island of Hispaniola, the former French colony of Haiti won independence in 1804 through a slave revolt and has had a history of uprisings, coups, dictatorships, poverty and social upheaval.
The statement stipulated "a commitment to hold elections in Haiti as soon as possible to avoid a political vacuum."
Preval has said he would not seek to extend his term beyond its scheduled conclusion on Feb. 11, 2011, and says he is confident that legislative elections -- originally scheduled for Feb. 28 -- can be reorganized in good time.
(Additional reporting by Lesley Wroughton, Writing by Pascal Fletcher; Editing by Eric Beech)