Speaking at an April 6 press conference at the ruined National Palace in downtown Port-au-Prince, Haitian president René Préval expressed his satisfaction with the results of an international donors meeting held by the United Nations (UN) in New York on March 31 to discuss the reconstruction of Haiti after the devastation of the Jan. 12 earthquake. The donors pledged nearly $10 billion in aid and about $350 million in direct support for the government’s 2010 budget. During the next 18 months the management of the various projects will be overseen by a commission made up of Haitians and international representatives. Haitian prime minister Jean Max Bellerive and former US president Bill Clinton, now the UN’s special envoy for Haiti, are currently the co-chairs of the commission. Préval insisted that the Haitian president would always have the last word on the plans.
Préval, who is not permitted to succeed himself when his term ends on Feb. 7, 2011, insisted that national elections will be organized in the fall. These would combine the presidential election with legislative elections that were scheduled for Feb. 28 but were postponed because of the earthquake. “Elections are necessary,” he said. “It’s important for stability, for the reconstruction.” He admitted that there are serious administrative problems, including the destruction of voting offices and the displacement of a large number of voters from their places of residence. (AlterPresse, Haiti, Apr. 6)
From Weekly News Update on the Americas, April 11
See our last post on Haiti.