At the Haiti UN donor conference on March 31st the international community pledged $5.3 billion to Haiti over the next two years. This figure exceeds the $3.8 billion that Haitian President Rene Preval had requested leading up to the conference. This brings the total amount of money pledged to Haiti over the next few years to $9.9 billion, just shy of the $11.5 billion they are expected to need over the next decade. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon declared “this is the down payment Haiti needs for wholesale national renewal.”
The Haitian government will not have direct control over these funds. An interim Haiti Recovery Commission led by former president Bill Clinton and Haiti’s Prime Minister Jean-Max Bellerive, will be responsible for overseeing the use of these funds over the next 18 months. The commission will also have representatives from all of the donor countries, the Haitian government, and the Organization of American States.
NGO’s and foreign governments have spent billions of dollars on Haiti in the past with little success. Often times the money was wasted through uncoordinated efforts or lost through corruption. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton warned that if the reconstruction process is not handled effectively than “the challenges that have plagued Haiti for years could erupt, with regional and global consequences.”