Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

Bill Clinton to co-chair Haiti recovery panel

UNITED NATIONS (AFP) — Former US president Bill Clinton said Wednesday that he and the Haitian prime minister would lead an interim panel overseeing billions in international pledges for quake-ravaged Haiti’s reconstruction.

Former US president Bill Clinton. AFP PHOTO

Clinton, the UN special envoy to Haiti, told a pledging conference tasked with raising 3.8 billion dollars for Haiti’s rebuilding that he accepted an invitation from Haitian President Rene Preval to co-chair an Interim Haiti Recovery Commission (IHRC) with Prime Minister Jean-Max Bellerive.

“The Haitians are committed to building back better… They want to create a new future for themselves and I am committed to assisting them through the IHRC,” Clinton said.

He made the announcement at a major fund-raiser for Haiti at UN headquarters in which his wife, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, pledged 1.15 billion dollars in American aid to Haiti’s long-term recovery and reconstruction.

The chief US diplomat said the funds would “go toward supporting the government of Haiti’s plan to strengthen agriculture, energy, health, and security and governance.”

Some 138 countries, international bodies such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, non-governmental organizations and representatives of Haitians abroad are attending the one-day conference.

Meanwhile a statement from the Clinton Foundation said the IHRC “will support Haiti’s vision for its future, with a new and transparent partnership with the international community.”

The IHRC, which will have an 18-month mandate, is meant to give the Haitian government “influence over how and where aid is spent and will ensure that the reconstruction is well coordinated and addresses the needs of Haitians in all 10 regional departments.”

It will then transition to a newly formed Haiti Development Authority, which will oversee longer-term reconstruction efforts.

An IHRC Board will comprise officials of the Haitian government and representatives of the Haitian Parliament, civil society, the private sector, the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and major donors.

The Haitian diaspora, the Organization of American States, and Haitian non-governmental organizations are expected to have observer status at the board, which will be backed by an executive director

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