Haiti

IDB President travels to Haiti to support earthquake response

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Bank prepared to direct at least $90 million to priority reconstruction efforts

The president of the Inter-American Development Bank, Luis Alberto Moreno, will travel to Haiti on Monday, Jan. 18, to express his solidarity with the victims of the earthquake and meet with Haitian authorities to analyze immediate needs for the reconstruction of Port-au-Prince.

Moreno intends to meet with Haitian authorities as well as with representatives of other development organizations active in Haiti to coordinate short- and medium-term actions. The IDB has maintained a core team of specialists in Haiti headed by the Bank=B4s representative in the country, Eduardo Almeida.

Later on Monday Moreno will travel to Santo Domingo to participate in a preparatory donors meeting for Haiti hosted by Dominican President Leonel Fernández. Haitian President René Préval and representatives of other governments and aid agencies are due attend the event.

The IDB can play a key role in rebuilding infrastructure and basic services in Port-au-Prince, which was hit by a 7.0 magnitude earthquake on Tuesday. The IDB's Haiti portfolio currently holds some $330 million in undisbursed funds, of which $90 million could be quickly redirected to high-priority civil works and reconstruction projects.

In addition, the IDB expects to approve up to $128 million in new grants for Haiti this year, potentially providing more resources for reconstruction.

To that end, Moreno has urged the international community to redouble its efforts to aid Haiti in the wake of the Caribbean nation's worst natural disaster in 200 years.