World donors pledge over $1.5bn in aid

BBC NEWS | World | Americas | Donors pledge $1bn in Haiti aid

The additional pledges came at the donors’ conference for Haiti at the World Bank in Washington, attended by donor institutions, nations and NGOs.

A total of $1.085bn extra was pledged – in addition to $440m already committed.

It came after US Secretary of State Colin Powell urged countries to help Haiti “build a better future”, and announced that the US would triple this year’s aid.

“Over the past 12 months especially,” he said, they “have experienced economic crisis, political chaos, floods and fires”.

Aid charity Oxfam said many of the pledges were not grants, but loans that would push Haiti further into debt.

An assessment by Haiti, the European Commission, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the United Nations and the World Bank found that Haiti would need $1.365bn over the next two years to rebuild.

One of the world’s poorest countries, it lacks basic infrastructure like roads, bridges and electricity. Unemployment is at about 60%, and about 5% of Haitians has HIV/Aids.