WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A donor meeting on Haiti on Tuesday proposed an assessment of the country’s reconstruction needs, the World Bank said.
The World Bank, which chaired the informal meeting in Washington, said donor countries, international financial institutions and regional groups, had discussed ways to ensure a coordinated response to helping Haiti, whose president Jean-Bertrand Aristide was ousted in an armed revolt last month.
It said the proposal to evaluate economic, social and institutional needs would be discussed with the interim government of Prime Minister Gerard Latortue, which is expected to hold elections within a year.
“The proposed assessment could result in the preparation of a carefully costed and coordinated national reconstruction plan covering both short-term and medium-term programs,” the World Bank said in a statement.
It said the donors could meet within the next few weeks in the Haitian capital Port-au-Prince to discuss the governments policy priorities, objectives of the needs assessment and the way forward.
Tuesday’s meeting was attended by high-level delegations from Canada, Chile, the European Commission, France, Germany, Japan, Spain and the United States, as well as the International Monetary Fund, Organization of American States and various United Nations groups.
In other news, UN News Service reports that UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s Special Adviser on Haiti, Reginald Dumas, will leave post-conflict Haiti Wednesday to attend a meeting of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) in the eastern Caribbean nation of St. Kitts and Nevis. Meanwhile, a UN multi-disciplinary team assessing requirements for a UN peacekeeping mission has been wrapping up its work. The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) said 80 percent of the schools in the provinces and in the capital, Port-au-Prince, are now open. UNICEF workers are scheduled to distribute school supplies in the towns of Cap Haitien and St. Marc this week in preparation for a countrywide “Back to School” campaign, targeting more than 1.5 million students and 50,000 teachers. UNICEF is also training midwives and distributing obstetric health kits. Fear, however, has been keeping attendance at health clinics low, Mr. Eckhard said.
((Reporting by Lesley Wroughton; editing by Eric Walsh))