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Sec. Clinton’s Remarks at Haiti Donors’ Conference

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Today in New York, a host of foreign governments gathered at the United Nations headquarters to discuss plans to fund reconstruction and long-term development for Haiti.  Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton delivered remarks to an audience that included Haitian President René Préval, citing the need to continue supporting relief and reconstruction efforts beyond humanitarian grounds, saying “If the effort to rebuild is slow or insufficient, if it is marked by conflict, lack of coordination, or lack of transparency, then the challenges that have plagued Haiti for years could erupt with regional and global consequences.”  She also noted critical reforms that had begun to turn the country around – including 3% growth of Haiti’s economy – just before the earthquake struck on January 12th.  See the following excerpts from her speech that use foreign assistance reform principles like country ownership, coordination, better monitoring and evaluation, and transparency to talk about building a better Haiti:

“The leaders of Haiti must take responsibility for their country’s reconstruction. They must make the tough decisions that guide a strong, accountable, and transparent recovery. And that is what they are starting to do with the creation of a new mechanism that provides coordination and consultation so aid can be directed where it is most needed.”

“I know we’ve heard these imperatives before – the need to coordinate our aid, hold ourselves accountable, share our knowledge, track results. But now, we cannot just declare our intentions…Therefore, this is not only a conference about what financially we pledge to Haiti. We also have to pledge our best efforts to do better ourselves – to offer our support in a smarter way, a more effective way that produces real results for the people of Haiti.”

“To that end, the United States pledges $1.15 billion for Haiti’s long-term recovery and reconstruction. This money will go toward supporting the Government of Haiti’s plan to strengthen agriculture, energy, health, security, and governance. We are committed to working with the people and organizations throughout Haiti, including civil society groups, private businesses, NGOs, and citizens. And I’m very glad to see so many of them represented here today.”

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