|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
Note to Correspondents
United Nations Headquarters to Host High-level
Donors’ Conference for Haiti on 31 March
The United Nations and the United States, in cooperation with the Government of Haiti, will convene a high-level donors’ conference under the theme “Towards a New Future in Haiti” at United Nations Headquarters in New York on 31 March to secure the financial resources necessary for the earthquake-devastated country’s recovery, and by doing so, demonstrate the international community’s steadfast commitment to its people as they struggle to rebuild their lives.
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, President René Préval of Haiti and former United States President Bill Clinton, United Nations Special Envoy for Haiti, are all expected to attend and make opening remarks. Brazil, Canada, the European Union, France, and Spain will co-chair the conference as leading donors to Haiti, and more than 100 other countries are expected to participate.
The earthquake, which struck Port-au-Prince and its environs on 12 January, resulted in the deaths of more than 220,000 people, directly affecting 1.5 million. Of those, 1.3 million are living in temporary shelter in the Haitian capital and more than 500,000 have left to find shelter elsewhere in the country. The total value of damage and losses sustained has been calculated at approximately $7 billion, more than 120 per cent of the country’s 2009 gross domestic product (GDP). Haiti was already the poorest country in the Western hemisphere before the earthquake.
A post-disaster needs assessment prepared by the Haitian Government, with international support, put the total value of needs at $11.5 billion for the social sectors (water and sanitation, health, education, and food security), infrastructure (housing, transport, telecommunications, energy, urban and administrative infrastructure), production sectors (agriculture, industry, trade, finance and banking and tourism) and environment and disaster risk management. The Haitian Government’s target at the conference is to raise $3.9 billion for the initial 18-month period of recovery and reconstruction, for which it will set the priorities for assistance.
“During the coming days, the world’s leaders will rise to stand by Haiti in solidarity ‑‑ a solidarity to be measured in years, long after the initial shock of disaster has passed. I am confident that, together, we can set Haiti on the road to a new and very different future,” said Secretary-General Ban.
President Préval said: “This is the opportunity for us to tell the entire world that the reconstruction of our country must be above all a national effort, an appropriate reflection of the solidarity shown right after the earthquake by all the Haitian people. It’s also the opportunity for the Government to express on behalf of the nation, in a strong and united voice, its gratitude to the international community for its assistance in support of Haiti’s strategic vision and choices for the reconstruction of our country.”
Helen Clark, Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Chair of the United Nations Development Group (UNDG), said: “This conference is about securing resources for Haiti’s long-term reconstruction. These resources could form the lifeblood of Haiti’s recovery from this devastating earthquake and create the foundation for the long-term recovery and development Haitians deserve.”
While the donors’ conference is focusing world attention on Haiti’s recovery and development needs, the United Nations continues its vital humanitarian and peacekeeping efforts on the ground.
Journalists interested in covering the conference, if not already accredited to the United Nations, should contact the Media Accreditation and Liaison Unit: www.un.org/media/accreditation/. The entire conference will be webcast starting at 9 a.m. at www.un.org/webcast/. A conference website has been established at www.haiticonference.org/.
For further information, including interview requests, please contact the Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General (Vannina Maestracci), tel.: +1 917 367 0293; United Nations Development Programme (Sausan Ghosheh), tel.: +1 212 906 5390; World Food Programme (Bettina Luescher), tel.: +1 646 556 6909; United Nations Children’s Fund (Chris de Bono), tel.: +1 212 303 7984; Department of Peacekeeping Operations (Nick Birnback), tel.: +1 917 367 5044; Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (Stephanie Bunker), tel.: +1 917 367 5126; and the Office of the Special Envoy for Haiti (Jehane Sedky), tel.: +1 646 781 4107.
Office of the United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Haiti:
MINUSTAH page on Department of Peacekeeping Operations website:
MINUSTAH website (French only):
United Nations News Centre News Focus ‑‑ Haiti earthquake page:
United Nations YouTube page:
World Health Organization (WHO) YouTube page:
ReliefWeb Haiti Earthquake:
* *** *For information media • not an official record