WASHINGTON, March 18, 2010 – The World Bank Board of Directors today approved a US$65 million project to support the recovery of Haiti’s critical infrastructure as well as the reestablishment of basic State functions following the devastating 7.0 magnitude earthquake on January 12, 2010. This is part of a US$100 million emergency grant announced by the World Bank right after the earthquake.
“The reestablishment of key financial and economic functions is critical to a well-functioning State and to the reconstruction and recovery effort in Haiti,” said Yvonne Tsikata, World Bank Director for the Caribbean. “In addition, the project will support the rehabilitation of key public infrastructure vital for economic activity.”
The Infrastructure and Institutions Emergency Recovery Project will:
- Restore key economic and financial functions of the Government of Haiti, including data recovery, revenue and expenditure management, accountability and transparency functions in the Ministry of Economy and Finance and other key institutions. Pre-fabricated premises, office space and equipment will be provided for these institutions to operate.
- Carry out emergency rehabilitation of key public infrastructure, including roads, bridges and administration buildings. These works are critical to give access to the damaged areas and to prevent further damages from flooding when the rainy season starts (in May). Some of these works include repairing national road no. 2 (RN2) between Carrefour and Miragoâne as well as national road no. 4 (RN4) between Carrefour Dufort and Jacmel, repairing bridge Fauché on RN2, and cleaning drainage equipment in Port-au-Prince.
- Provide technical assistance to support selected institutions and reconstruction planning.
The World Bank’s response to the Haiti earthquake focuses on the following three strategic areas:
- A US$100 million grant was announced on January 13, 2010, in order to help the Government of Haiti in the early recovery and reconstruction phase. The International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, recently announced a US$35 million in emergency investments in Haiti to generate jobs.
- A restructuring of the World Bank portfolio in Haiti. Within the portfolio, there are 14 active World Bank projects in Haiti focusing on areas including disaster risk management, infrastructure, community-driven development, education, and economic governance. All current World Bank assistance to Haiti is in grant form.
- Participating as one of the key contributors to the Post-Disaster Needs Assessment (PDNA) led by the Government of Haiti. The PDNA will include physical damages, economic losses and human recovery needs, and its results are expected before the March 31st donor meeting in New York.
The World Bank is a close partner of Haiti. Since January 2005, the International Development Association has provided a total of US$308 million for Haiti. In addition, trust funds administered by the World Bank have provided more than US$55 million since 2003. These amounts do not include the US$100 million in grants mentioned above in response to the earthquake. Since 2005, the World Bank’s financial support for Haiti has been carried out through grants.
Attainment of the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries Initiative Completion Point in June 2009 and the Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative have led to the cancellation of US$1.2 billion of Haiti's debt. Only US$38.8 million (less than four percent) of the external remaining debt is due to the World Bank. Bank Management is currently exploring a proposal for the complete forgiveness of Haiti's debt for its Board's consideration.