World Bank relieves Haiti of debt

Bank cancels $36m in remaining debt to help Haiti recover from devastating earthquake.

    An estimated 1.2 million people were  made homeless in the January 12 quake [GALLO/GETTY]

    "Relieving Haiti's remaining debt is part of our effort to pursue every avenue to help Haiti's reconstruction efforts," Robert Zoellick, president of the World Bank, said in the statement.

    "We will continue to work in close co-operation with the Haitian government and our international partners to support the country's recovery and longer-term development."

    Devastating quake

    The magnitude-7 earthquake struck Haiti on January 12, destroying the government and commercial centre of the capital Port-au-Prince and killing between 217,000 and 300,000 people, according to government estimates.

    in depth

      Blog:
      One family in Haiti
      United Nations for Haiti
      Video:
      Preval on recovery strategy
      The Haitian-aid worker divide
      Farmers sceptical of UN aid
      Profiting off Haiti's disaster?

    The damage to the capital is estimated to be up to 120 per cent of the impoverished Caribbean country's gross domestic product.

    An estimated 1.2 million people were also made homeless, many of whom continue to live in tents and under makeshift shelter.

    Shortly after the quake, the 186-member nation World Bank announced that it had suspended repayment of the debt owed by Haiti and would seek to cancel it.

    Months later, international donors pledged $9.9bn to rebuild Haiti during a donor conference at the UN in April.

    The EU, promising $1.6bn, and the US with $1.15bn, led 50 countries in pledging $5.3bn for the first two years of reconstruction.

    Haiti's government has detailed its plans for the money in a 55-page rebuilding plan, at the core of which is the Interim Haiti Recovery Commission, which is co-chaired by Bill Clinton, the former US president, and Jean-Max Bellerive, Haiti's prime minister.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Assassinating Kim Jong-un could go so wrong

    Assassinating Kim Jong-un could go so wrong

    The many ways in which the assassination of the North Korean leader could lead to a total disaster.

    The life and death of Salman Rushdie, gentleman author

    The life and death of Salman Rushdie, gentleman author

    The man we call 'Salman Rushdie' today is not the brilliant author of the Satanic Verses, but a Picassoesque imposter.

    Why does Israel keep attacking Syria?

    Why does Israel keep attacking Syria?

    Al Jazeera examines what is behind the cross-border violence and threats between Israel and Syria.