Almost three years since the terrible earthquake, Haiti seems to have math on its side.
New reconstruction numbers speak volumes. Port-au-Prince’s roads are once again drivable after most of 11 million cubic meters of debris has been removed. One million displaced Haitians have left the camps, 2 million school children have been receiving free meals every day and 1.5 million under-fives are receiving healthcare, among other accomplishments.
The new government’s motto, rebuilding Haiti 'vite et bien', quickly and well, is adding up.
“We didn’t have any money to pay the rent anymore, so the new house is a total improvement for us. We never thought to have such a beautiful home," said Francois Calvaire, 31, who lives with his aging parents in a brand new house built as part of the recovery efforts.
Those efforts got a big boost today following the approval of a new strategic plan to support Haiti’s reconstruction over the next two years.
The 2013-14 Haiti Interim Strategy Note (ISN) provides US$245 million in grants to build upon the country’s recent gains on health, education, housing, agriculture and job creation among other vital areas. Haiti’s ISN underpins the country’s long-term development plans by shoring up institutions and improving the climate for private investment.
“We have seen substantial progress after the earthquake, but more needs to be done to accelerate the reconstruction,” said World Bank Regional Vice President Hasan Tuluy while stressing that the Bank will continue to support key activities in those areas.
“Reconstruction, basic health and education services remain vital to address urgent needs of the population,” he noted.
The ISN’s focus on people is paramount. It will continue to make Haiti a safer place and Haitians healthier and better served by public agencies.
All told, the new strategy will improve disaster vulnerability; rebuild and repair homes in a more resilient fashion; boost cholera prevention and treatment for 1.5 million people and, most importantly, improve access to electricity for 600,000 people. Beyond immediate concerns, the ISN will also help drive longer-term development plans such as stregthening institutions and spurring tourism.