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Jan 13, 2011

I.D.B. accompanies Haiti and its people on the road to recovery

Wednesday was the anniversary of Haiti’s devastating earthquake. Many local organizations in Belize contributed to the relief effort and donated their contributions to the Red Cross, who also sent volunteers to the ravaged country.  Another international organization, the Inter-American Development Bank (I.D.B.) has also played a vital role.  On anniversary of the earthquake, I.D.B. President Luis Alberto Moreno addressed some of the long-term investments needed to rebuild the country, and the I.D.B.´s readiness to accompany Haiti and its people on the way ahead.

Luis Alberto Moreno, I.D.B. President

Luis Alberto Moreno

“One year ago, Haiti suffered the worst natural disaster in the history of the western hemisphere—a catastrophe on a scale that would have brought any country in the world to its knees. On top of the tragic loss of more than two hundred and thirty thousand lives, the earthquake was a staggering setback for a nation that was starting to make progress in its fight against poverty. The world responded to Haiti’s plight with generous donations of humanitarian aid and unprecedented pledges to help the Haitian government and its people build back better. Much has been done to alleviate their suffering but as the recent cholera outbreak showed Haiti still in Crisis. Over the last year, the I.D.B. has continued to provide assistance to address urgent needs such as: building temporary shelters and delivering potable water. However, as a development agency, our primary responsibility lies in helping Haiti make the long-term investments needed to lift its people’s standard of living. Many of the projects we’re financing involve building infrastructure ranging from roads to schools, but we are also investing in a stronger public sector and that is as we all know a complex tasks prone to setbacks and disappointments but it is indispensible for Haiti to overcome its dependence on foreign aid. In addition, Haiti desperately needs to generate more jobs. To that end, we are working on several fronts—from expanding access to credit for micro-entrepreneurs and small businesses, to persuade major clothing manufacturers to establish factories in Haiti. These efforts won’t bear fruit overnight. They require patience, persistence and stability. We look forward to the day when Haiti’s leaders reach an agreement to broker their political differences and recreate the conditions needed to unleash their people’s productive energies and creativity.”

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