Almost $2B to repair August 2021 earthquake damage, Haiti estimates

The repair of roads and bridges will mean that farmers can get their produce to local and regional markets (Photo via World Food Programme)
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More than half of the funds, just over a billion dollars, will be needed to rehabilitate or rebuild mainly private housing, and around $400 million is earmarked for education. Healthcare services and food security initiatives, require $40 million and $55 million respectively.

The Government of Haiti on Wednesday hosted an international pledging conference in the country’s capital, Port-au-Prince, to support the reconstruction and recovery efforts following the August 2021 earthquake.

The Government has estimated it will cost close to $2 billion to repair the damage caused by the earthquake. More than 25 per cent or over $500 million was pledged on Wednesday and more is expected to follow.

The 7.2 magnitude earthquake struck the mainly rural southwest of the country on 14 August, leading to widespread death and destruction. About 2,200 people died, more than 12,500 were injured and up to 800,000 people were directly impacted. Some 137,000 houses and 1,250 schools were damaged or destroyed, and more than 300,000 students were delayed in returning to school. More than 95 hospitals and health centres were also affected and roads and bridges damaged, complicating the response capacities in the earthquake zone.

More than half of the funds – just over a billion dollars – will be needed to rehabilitate or rebuild mainly private housing, and around $400 million is earmarked for education. Healthcare services and food security initiatives, require $40 million and $55 million respectively.

Agriculture, commerce and industry as well as environmental programmes, have also been targeted for assistance.

The Prime Minister of Haiti, Ariel Henry, told the event that the reconstruction and recovery effort would include all people. “Not all communities in the Southern Peninsula were affected in the same way.

Some suffered more damage and losses than others. However, the recovery plan includes all regions that were directly and indirectly affected.”

UN Deputy Secretary-General, Amina Mohammed, who had visited the earthquake affected region immediately after the catastrophic event, spoke at the event and paid tribute to the resilience of the people of Haiti.

“This is not the time to give up”, she said, “because the people of Haiti never give up. Time and time again, they mourn their losses, and then they pick themselves up and put their lives back together,” adding “Haiti is again at a crossroads. Years of investment in stability and development must be protected. And national institutions are ready to lead.”

“We need to be aware that a lack of adequate and timely investment in reconstruction will inevitably push the most vulnerable populations, who will no longer have the means to sustain their livelihoods, towards negative survival strategies,” said the UN deputy chief, adding that “Internal migration is likely to increase, including to Port-au-Prince, which already faces serious social and economic challenges and high levels of violence.” (Adapted from United Nations News Press Releases)

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