WASHINGTON DC, January 12, 2010 – After a magnitude-7.0 earthquake caused extensive damage and casualties in Haiti on Tuesday, World Bank President Robert Zoellick expressed profound sympathy for those affected and said that the institution is already mobilizing its resources to help the country respond to the catastrophe.
'This is a shocking event and our thoughts are with the Haitian people at this terrible time', said Zoellick. 'The World Bank is ready to mobilize a team to help assess damage and losses and plan recovery and reconstruction. The Bank stands ready to help with financial assistance.'
The World Bank offices in the Port-au-Prince suburb of Petion-Ville were destroyed but most staff have been safely accounted for.
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.