Team of UN advisors head to Haiti to assist in economic, social reconstruction

4 May 2009

A team of United Nations advisors set off on a visit to Haiti today following pledges worth nearly $325 million made at a donor conference in Washington last month for the impoverished Caribbean nation’s reconstruction and development.

The Ad Hoc Advisory Group of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) will use the four-day trip to study the most appropriate ways to support Government efforts towards economic and social development in Haiti.

Last summer four back-to-back tropical storms devastated Haiti leaving $1 billion – equivalent to 15 per cent of its gross domestic product (GDP) – of damage in the country which was already the poorest in the Western Hemisphere.

The global recession has further eroded the country’s socio-economic situation, with remittances – which bring three times the amount of funds to Haiti as international aid – plummeting 14 per cent.

The ECOSOC delegation, led by Canadian Ambassador John McNee, will also examine the procedures for the coordination of international aid to Haiti, ensuring the assistance is consistent with the National Strategy for Growth and Reduction of Poverty Document (DSNCRP) and in documents submitted by the Government last month in Washington.

In addition, the Group will take stock of progress made in the implementation of reforms and strengthening of institutions aimed at establishing the rule of law.

The Ad Hoc Advisory Group will also meet with Prime Minister Michèle Pierre-Louis and the President René Préval, as well as other members of the Government, technical and financial partners of Haiti, members of the diplomatic corps and representatives of the private sector and civil society.

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UN envoy for Haiti urges speedy disbursal of donor pledges

Hailing pledges worth nearly $325 million for Haiti's reconstruction and development made at a donor conference in Washington last week, the top United Nations envoy to the impoverished country today expressed hope the funds will be quickly disbursed.