2004-07-23 / Community

Meeks Lauds Pledges To Rebuild Haiti

Congressman Gregory W. Meeks has welcomed the results of the International Donors Conference on Haiti, which concluded on Tuesday. The United States and other international donors pledged just over $1 billion to help rebuild Haiti, an amount that exceeded the conference goal of $924 million.

“These funds will do much to help Haiti’s interim government to begin to address the basic needs of the poorest country in the hemisphere,” Congressman Meeks said. “These donations can help Haiti move towards stability and provide the Haitian people with what anyone would want – a decent environment in which to live, health services, housing, education for one’s children, and an opportunity to provide for one’s family,” he continued.

The conference was hosted by the European Union, the European Commission, the Inter-American Development Bank, the United Nations, and the World Bank. More than 30 countries and international organizations came together to assist Haiti. Congressman Meeks, who has been a leader in Congress in trying to find solutions for the Haitian crisis, pointed out that, “These donations are the first of many steps that the international community — the United States, above all — needs to take to help stabilize Haiti. The importance of the more than $1 billion in pledges lies not only in the amount donated, but also in the focus on helping ordinary Haitian people.” The funds pledged are slated to be used to create 44,000 jobs, finance garbage removal, upgrade slum neighborhoods, and provide electricity for 12 hours per day in Port au-Prince. Fifteen hundred schools are to be built or refurbished. The pledges will also pay for an immunization program.

Meeks noted that while the donor conference will help Haiti get a running start on these problems, both the interim government and the Haitian people “also have to keep reconciliation in the forefront, if their country is really to become secure, enjoy stability, and be able to move forward. The international community has made a vital contribution toward this goal by providing resources for reconciliation.”

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