CaribWorldNews, NEW YORK, NY, Weds. Mar. 31, 2010: Two representatives from the Caribbean Community along with the Haitian-born Governor General of Canada are among the top dignitaries set for the International Donors` Conference for Haiti today.
The conference, being presented under the theme `Towards a New Future for Haiti,` is aimed at raising billions to help the earthquake devastated country rebuild.
At the request of the Prime Minister of Canada, Stephen Harper, Governor General Michaëlle Jean will attend the conference today, March 31, 2010, at U.N. Headquarters in New York.
The governor general will be present as an observer at this event, which is being organized by the United States and the United Nations, in co-operation with the Government of Haiti.
Meanwhile, Percival J. Patterson, former Prime Minister of Jamaica and Special Representative of the Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) to Haiti, and Ambassador Colin Granderson,
Assistant Secretary-General Foreign and Community Relations, CARICOM Secretariat, will represent the Caribbean community.
At the meeting, the donor community will have the chance to pledge resources, coordinate support towards Haiti`s long-term recovery and commit to a sustained effort to support Haiti. Two pledging sessions have been identified on the provisional program.
President of Haiti, Rene Preval, and Prime Minister Jean-Max Bellerive, will attend the conference that will feature opening remarks by President Preval, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon, and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
All UN Member States have been invited to the conference, which is also being held with the support of Brazil, Canada, the European Union, France and Spain.
Special Representative Patterson will address the forum in a segment reserved for CARICOM and financial and development international institutions including the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), the World Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the International Monetary Fund, and the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB).
Haiti suffered tremendously after a 7.0 magnitude earthquake struck on January 12th. More than 200, 000 persons were killed in the quake that also left hundreds of others injured and more than one million homeless. More than 300, 000 homes in Haiti and most of the schools and hospitals have been destroyed, damaged or rendered unusable.
The total value of damage and losses have been tagged at almost US$8B, which is equivalent to 120 per cent of Haiti`s 2009 GDP. It is estimated that the country`s recovery will take some $11.5B over the next three years. Fifty percent of the estimated resources would go to social programs, 17 percent to infrastructure and 15 percent to the environment and disaster management.
A Preliminary Damage and Needs Assessment report, which lays out the vision of the Haitian Government for a new Haiti, will be presented to the Conference today.
In the report, emphasis is placed on decentralization to lessen the present over-concentration of government, economic and other activities as well as people in the capital, on re-energizing the agriculture sector to address food security, and on a new sense of the state and of government
The Diaspora, private sector, non-governmental organizations, and stakeholders to MINUSTAH (United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti) are also set to make presentations at the Conference.