Foreign Governments Pledge nearly $10 Billion in Aid to Haiti at U.N. Donor Conference

April 1, 2010 By Roque Planas

The world’s governments pledged to donate more than expected to Haiti’s earthquake reconstruction effort at a conference at the United Nations on Wednesday.

More than 100 countries participated in the conference, pledging $5.3 billion in short term assistance, and another $9 billion over the long term, Reuters reports. Observers had not expected pledges to surpass $4 billion.

U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki- Moon told the press that the result “went far beyond expectations.”

“Thank you for the spontaneous response in coming to the assistance of Haiti in the first moments following the disaster. Today, it has been demonstrated that the international community will continue to support Haiti over the long term and it will meet the needs that this disaster has caused,” said Haitian President René Préval.

“[A]ssistance is not development, but it does prepare the ground for development,” Préval added.

Some Haitians remain unconvined that the assistance will reach those it is intended to, however, “because millions of dollars were pledged in the past for hurricane relief, but only a fraction was actually paid,” according to The New York Times.