WASHINGTON, May 11, 2010 — Brazil today became the first country to contribute to the Haiti Reconstruction Fund (HRF) set up to support the Caribbean nation’s reconstruction in the aftermath of the devastating earthquake of January 12th. During a ceremony at the World Bank, Antonio de Aguiar Patriota, Brazil’s Secretary-General of the Ministry of External Relations, signed US$55 million over to the fund.
The Haiti Reconstruction Fund was set up by the Government of Haiti and a number of bilateral and multilateral donors to pool, mobilize, coordinate and allocate resources for financing post-earthquake recovery, reconstruction and development, so as to fill gaps in the financing available from development partners and in a manner that builds the capacity of the Haitian state and society in the longer term. The Fund will provide financing for reconstruction investments, budget support and capacity building.
"I am delighted that Brazil is the first county to contribute to the Haiti Reconstruction Fund,” said World Bank Group President Robert B. Zoellick. “Many promises have been made in support of Haiti’s reconstruction. Turning these into reality for the Haitian people is urgent. Brazil's has a long-standing history of friendship with Haiti and has provided critical support in peace-keeping and security efforts over the past years. Haiti and the international community will also benefit from Brazil’s vast development experience in the planning and implementation of reconstruction. We all look forward to Brazil's contributions in shaping the HRF into an effective mechanism for investing in a more prosperous future for the Haitian people,” added Zoellick.
The Fund is chaired by the Government of Haiti and is governed through a Steering Committee that also includes contributors to the Fund (countries and institutions, including Brazil) and partner entities such as the Inter- American Development Bank, the United Nations and the World Bank. The World Bank serves as the fiscal agent for the Trust Fund, transferring funds for the implementation of programs by a broad range of actors on the ground (such as government ministries, NGOs, the private sector, and UN agencies) at the request of the Fund’s Steering Committee.
"We were shocked and saddened by the earthquake in Haiti. However, the resilience of the Haitian people, reflected in the warm colors of Haitian paintings, is greater that this tragedy,” said Brazil’s Secretary-General of the Ministry of External Relations Antonio de Aguiar Patriota. “The earthquake prompted a wave of worldwide solidarity. The challenge now is to translate international support into effective and timely reconstruction projects that are aligned to the priorities set up by the Haitians themselves.”
“The Haiti Reconstruction Fund, managed by the World Bank, provides an adequate framework to achieve these objectives,” added Patriota. “Brazil is proud to be the first country to contribute to the Fund and invites others to join us in this effort.”
More donors are expected to sign their contributions to the HRF over the next few weeks in addition to their bilateral programs.
“In the name of the Haitian government and the people of Haiti, I would like to thank my former colleague, Ambassador Antonio Patriota, the government and the people of Brazil who have been there for us since 2004 when MINUSTAH arrived in Haiti,” said Raymond Joseph, Ambassador of Haiti to the U.S. thanking Brazil for being the first donor to contribute to the Haiti Reconstruction Fund “As I said in an article in 2004, Brazil will succeed in Haiti where others have failed, because the Haitians are as much Brazilian as the Brazilians themselves in the soccer field. So, Brazilian soccer diplomacy – and in this case generosity – has won our hearts,” Joseph added.