The Haitian government has received some good news. In an effort to aid in the rebuilding of the poverty stricken country, the International Monetary Fund has made a decision to cancel the country’s $268 million dollar debt. (BOUT DAMN TIME)
On Wednesday (July 21) IMF officials said that the decision is part of a plan for long-term reconstruction after the Jan. 12 magnitude-7 quake, which killed as many as 300,000 people.
In addition to cancelling the debt, IMF also revealed that they will lend the country an additional $60 million to help with reconstruction plans. The three-year loan carries a zero interest rate until 2011 which then rises to no more than 0.5 per cent.
The organization states that it hopes the move would encourage other donors to contribute to the insolvent country.
“Donors must start delivering on their promises to Haiti quickly, so reconstruction can be accelerated, living standards quickly improved and social tensions soothed,” IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn said in a statement to the Associated Press.
Many questions have arose as to where the $3.1 billion pledged so far has been dispersed. Haitian officials state that most of the humanitarian aid has paid for field hospitals, plastic tarps, bandages, and food, plus salaries, transportation and upkeep of relief workers.
At a March conference, donors pledged a total of $9.9 billion of money that is separate from the humanitarian aid, to help Haiti recover; but less than 2 percent of it has been delivered.
The rest is mired in bureaucracy and politics of the more than 60 countries and organizations that pledged to help.
While the politicians are trying to figure out where the aid will come from, the number of people in relief camps has nearly doubled to 1.6 million, while the amount of transitional housing built is minuscule. Crime is more prevalent since the quake, with attacks in camps terrorizing thousands, especially women and girls.
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