United Nations: Donor countries slow in sending aid to Haiti

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti – John Holmes, the United Nations’ chief of humanitarian operations, said the international philanthropy has been slowed in its effort to provide relief to Haiti because numerous countries that had pledged aid haven’t sent it. Holmes claims there still are “major unmet humanitarian needs,” as many donor nations will gather in New York on March 31 to discuss the funding and execution of Haiti’s long-term reconstruction, which could get as much as US$3 billion from the United States. The total rebuilding cost has been estimated at about US$14 billion, according to firms that specialize in assessing damages caused by catastrophes. “Our challenge is to maintain the spirit of solidarity through the upcoming donors’ conference and beyond,” said Ban Ki-moon, the United Nations’ secretary general, adding any funds derived from the conference should be jointly managed by the donors and Haitian officials. [Reuters (Haiti), 3/15/2010; The Associated Press (Haiti) 3/15/2010]

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