World Bank cancels Haiti’s debt

The World
Bank has canceled Haiti’s $36 million debt, the institution announced.

Haiti owed the money to the
International Development Association, the World Bank’s fund for the poorest
countries. The nation, wracked by a devastating earthquake on January 12, now
does not owe any more money to the World Bank.

“Relieving Haiti’s remaining
debt is part of our effort to pursue every avenue to help Haiti’s reconstruction
efforts,” World Bank Group President Robert B. Zoellick said in a release.
“We will continue to work in close cooperation with the Haitian government
and our international partners to support the country’s recovery and
longer-term development.”

The debt cancellation was made
possible by contributions from Belgium, Canada, Finland, France, Germany,
Ireland, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland, the
World Bank said.

Since the earthquake, the World
Bank has made $479 million available to Haiti to support recovery and
development through June 2011.

In addition, a broad array of
international donors pledged nearly $10 billion in long-term assistance to
Haiti’s earthquake recovery efforts during a conference in March at United Nations
headquarters.

Last year, prior to the earthquake,
Haiti obtained $1.2 billion in debt relief from the World Bank, the
International Monetary Fund and other creditors.

January’s 7.0-magnitude earthquake
killed more than 200,000 people and leveled large parts of Port-au-Prince,
Haiti’s capital.

Haiti Story

Wiping out Haiti’s $36 million debt will help the country’s reconstruction efforts.
PHOTO: FILE
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