Nations calling themselves the Friends of Haiti have made a 10-year commitment to help the devastated island country recover from the earthquake and pull itself out of the depths of poverty.
Participants at a Montreal conference on Monday agreed in a joint statement that “an initial 10-year commitment is essential.” They also said that reconstruction must be directed by Haitians and that it must be co-ordinated, effective and transparent.
“It is not an exaggeration to say that 10 years of hard work awaits the world in Haiti,” Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper told members of the loosely organized group of nations that calls itself the Friends of Haiti.
The declarations were made as the International Monetary Fund indicated it would announce a $100-million, interest-free loan for Haiti. However, the bank has no plans to meet demands from aid agencies to forgive Haiti's nearly $900-million debt.
Mr. Harper said that when the immediate needs of Haiti's wounded, hungry and homeless have been met, the long restoration process will begin and aid nations must be prepared to go the distance.
“The international community must be prepared for a sustained, significant effort in Haiti, relying on the leadership of the government of Haiti and in line with its priorities.”
World leaders commit to 10 years of hard work for Haiti - The Globe and Mail