Contacts in Washington:
Alejandro Cedeño (202) 473-3477 firstname.lastname@example.org
Sergio Jellinek (202) 458-2841 email@example.com
WASHINGTON, DC, January 13, 2010-In response to the magnitude-7.0 earthquake that caused extensive damage and casualties in Haiti on Tuesday, the World Bank will provide an additional $100 million in emergency grant funding to support recovery and reconstruction in the Caribbean nation.
"This is a shocking event and it is crucial that the international community supports the Haitian people at this critical time," said World Bank Group President Robert B. Zoellick. "The World Bank is mobilizing significant financial assistance and sending a team to help assess damage and reconstruction needs. Our thoughts are with the people of Haiti, our staff, and our UN colleagues."
In addition to new initiatives, the World Bank expects to utilize the capacity of existing projects, including those that focus on education and community-driven development, to provide assistance quickly and effectively.
The World Bank Group is sending experts to work with the Government and its international partners to assess needs and losses and plan for recovery and reconstruction. The Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR) has allocated US$250,000 for this assessment. The International Finance Corporation (IFC), the World Bank Group's private sector arm, stands ready to work with the private sector on reconstruction and is contacting its clients in Haiti to identify ways it can work with them to play a role in the reconstruction effort.
Going forward, the World Bank plans to provide seed resources to establish a multi-donor trust fund, the Haiti Reconstruction Fund, to mobilize international support for recovery and reconstruction process.
The new $100 million funding is subject to approval by the World Bank's Board of Directors.
There are currently 14 main World Bank projects active in Haiti in areas including disaster risk management, infrastructure, community-driven development, education, and economic governance. All current World Bank assistance to Haiti is in grant form.
Since January 2005, the International Development Association (IDA), the World Bank arm that provides interest-free credits and grants to the world's poorest countries, has provided a total of US$308 million for Haiti. In addition, trust funds administered by the World Bank have given more than US$55 million since 2003.