US Disburses $3.1 Billion for Haiti Relief, Recovery and Reconstruction

The U.S. Government has disbursed $3.1 billion for Haiti’s relief, recovery and reconstruction.

A magnitude 7 earthquake hit Haiti on January 2011. The quake was centered approximately 10 miles west of Haiti’s capital city, Port-au-Prince which killed more than 200,000 people, injured at least 300,000 and displaced 2.3 million people – nearly one quarter of the country’s population. It levelled Haiti’s capital, Port-au-Prince, and delivered a severe blow to the country’s already fragile economy and infrastructure.

On December 2011, 2.2 billion has been disbursed by the USG to mobilize the reconstruction of Haiti. A $1.3 billion was alloted in humanitarian relief assistance which includes funding provided to fight the October 2010 cholera outbreak.

A cholera outbreak hit Haiti 10 months after the earthquake which has killed more than 2,400 people and infected nearly 110,000 others, 55,000 of whom had to be hospitalized.

The USG relief assistance supported the deployment of search-and-rescue teams, provided emergency food assistance and safe drinking water, installed latrines and water systems, provided emergency shelter, re-established medical supply chains and restocked medical supply inventories, and helped to treat and prevent cholera.

A boy receives treatment for cholera at the hospital in L’Estere, Haiti, as his family watches over him. L’Estere is located in Haiti’s Artibonite region, the centre of the recent cholera outbreak. UN Photo/Sophia Paris

For Haiti’s recovery and reconstruction assistance, the USG has also committed $1.8 billion to support recovery and to begin long-term reconstruction activities in key development pillars identified in the five-year USG Haiti strategy.

The USG implemented recovery activities in order to bridge the gap from emergency assistance to reconstruction, including implementation of cash for work rubble removal, and shelter solution activities; construction of temporary infrastructure to house the Parliament and semi-permanent classrooms to allow students to return to school; support and technical assistance for the Interim Haiti Recovery Commission; and funding for Haitian debt relief.

Reconstruction activities require in-depth exchanges with new partners and Government of Haiti (GOH) officials to design and implement projects, toward a more stable and economically viable Haiti. Reconstruction assistance supports new post-earthquake initiatives, as well as projects that began prior to the earthquake and continue to support Haiti’s economic recovery. To promote sustainable, long-term development, the USG has initiated site work to prepare for permanent houses in Haiti’s north, reconstructed the Ennery Bridge, initiated energy activities for the new Caracol Industrial Park, encouraged public-private partnerships to raise revenues for farmers, pioneered mobile banking, supported food security activities to increase crop yields, provided a basic health package to beneficiaries , increased physical access for disabled students and teachers, and supported first- and second- round presidential elections.

Accprding to USG, the the majority of USG funds in the first year following the earthquake were used to respond quickly to emergencies and humanitarian crises.

Since the earthquake, the USG has worked directly or through sub-awards in which USAID has worked with over 500 Haitian non-governmental organizations and firms, and continues to award contracts to local organizations.

In addition, the USG is increasing local contracting as reconstruction programs continue to be designed and awarded. USG programs will work specifically to build the capacity of Haitian organizations to receive direct funding for implementing USG projects and will provide technical assistance directly to the GOH, local governments and Haiti’s parliament to build government capacity.

The United States and the United Nations, in cooperation with the Government of Haiti, and with the support of Brazil, Canada, the European Union, France, and Spain conducted a ministerial “International Donors’ Conference Towards a New Future for Haiti” at the United Nations in New York on March 31, 2010.

The goal of the conference was to mobilize international support for the development needs of Haiti to begin to lay the foundation for Haiti’s long-term recovery.

Mina Fabulous
Mina Fabulous follows the news, especially what is going on in the US State Department. Mina turns State Department waffle into plain English. Mina Fabulous is the pen name of Carmen Avalino, the NewsBlaze production editor. When she isn't preparing stories for NewsBlaze writers, she writes stories, but to separate her editing and writing identities, she uses the name given by her family and friends.