IMF approves millions more for quake-hit Haiti

WASHINGTON, United States, January 29, 2010 – In a response to Haiti’s needs in the aftermath of the recent earthquake, the IMF Executive Board approved an additional US$102 million for the devastated country, taking the total to be disbursed to US$114 million.

“Haiti’s needs are massive and pressing. The international community has responded fast and has already mobilized substantial resources for the relief and recovery effort,” said IMF Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn.

The decision will give the Haitian government immediate funds to help restore basic financial services and begin to rebuild the country. The decision from the IMF means the authorities can get cash circulating in the economy so that people can buy food and employees can be paid. The funds will also help Haiti pay for urgently needed imports.

The emergency IMF assistance carries highly concessional terms. It is interest free and repayments of principal are only due after a 5 1/2-year grace period. The financing is not subject to any additional policy conditions.

The massive earthquake that struck Haiti on January 12th left parts of the country and much of the capital Port-au-Prince in ruins. Over 150,000 have died and tens of thousands have been injured. The Haitian government has appealed for international help to support its plans to rebuild the country and its economy.

“The Fund is participating in the coordinated international effort to assess the economic impact of the earthquake, and will assist the authorities in preparing and implementing a plan for medium-term reconstruction and economic recovery. In the short run, the Fund, together with other development partners, is providing immediate technical support to the Haitian authorities in the area of economic management,” Strauss-Kahn said.

The IMF took part in an international donors conference alongside world leaders including Haitian Prime Minister Jean-Max Bellerive, and other international organisations and aid groups in Montreal on January 25th, to lay the foundations for Haiti’s recovery.

Strauss-Kahn has proposed a type of Marshall Plan as part of the international effort to support the Haitian authorities rebuild the country.