Haiti – the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere – has won pledges of 245 million euros from donors to embark on a massive rebuilding programme.
At a conference in Washington the US government promised funding to train the country’s police force – provide jobs in infrastructure – help pay off debts and provide investment in agriculture. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said Haiti’s recent political stability and security improvements, backed by 9,000 UN peacekeepers gave cause for optimism. Earlier Haiti’s Prime Minister Michele Duvivier Pierre-Louis told the conference if no action was taken the consequences would be catastrophic. “I want to take back with me the commitments and hope we are longing for in our quest for lasting development and democracy,” she said The funding is conditional on a drive to tackle corruption and improve transparency in a country with a troubled history of dictatorship and political violence.