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Govt to commit outstanding €1.5m of Haiti aid 'in coming months'

Minister of State Joe Costello says Ireland has paid €11.5 million of the €13 million pledged at the 2010 donor conference.

A woman and child peer from their emergency housing at the Petionville Golf Club in Haiti, two months after the 2010 quake.
A woman and child peer from their emergency housing at the Petionville Golf Club in Haiti, two months after the 2010 quake.
Image: AP Photo/Andres Leighton/PA File

AROUND €1.5 MILLION of the €13 million the Irish government pledged to support the post-earthquake humanitarian relief effort in Haiti has yet to be paid.

Around a quarter of a million people were killed in the devastating January 2010 earthquake, and hundreds of thousands more were left homeless.

Haiti’s capital Port-au-Prince bore the brunt of the quake damage, and the country is still struggling in its recovery from the 7-magnitude earthquake.

Although the international community pledged $4.5 billion worth of assistance in the months following the earthquake, UN figures released last month show that just 53 per cent (or $2.38 billion) of that has actually been delivered.

Japan and Finland have fully met their pledged figures, while the US and Venezuela have provided just 30 per cent and 24 per cent of their pledged aid so far ($278m and $223m respectively).

Since the earthquake struck on 12 January 2010, there have been 18 deployments of Irish Aid-administered Rapid Response Corps to Haiti to provide assistance in logistics, sanitation, and engineering, according to Minister of State with responsibility for Trade and Development Joe Costello.

Responding to a query from Bernard Durkan TD, Costello said in the Dáil this week that Ireland had so far committed “some €11.5 million of the €13 million pledged at the Haiti Donor Conference in New York in March 2010.”

Costello added that the government plans to “meet our entire pledge in the coming months”.

The junior minister also said that Irish funding prioritised the needs of the most vulnerable people and “Ireland’s assistance has made a great difference in the lives of thousands of Haitians.”

“Support has been provided to UNICEF, Concern, Goal, Plan, World Vision and Haven in 2010 and 2011 for the provision of clean water and sanitation, shelter and housing to the affected population,” he said. “One million euros was also provided to the Haiti Reconstruction Trust Fund for projects managed by the World Bank in line with priorities agreed with the Haitian authorities.”

Read: Half a million people still living in camps in Haiti >

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