Port-au-Prince, February,  22, 2013 - $28 million was reserved yesterday by the Steering Committee of the Haiti Reconstruction Fund (HRF) to support reconstruction through the Government’s budget.  The chairperson of the meeting, Finance Minister Marie Carmelle Jean-Marie, pledged that the budget support would be used to finance the Government’s priority reconstruction projects.  An additional $3.5 million was reserved to support investment in the education sector.

The Council of Ministers had previously requested that the HRF finance five priority investments:

•              Rehabilitation of the electricity transmission line from Peligre to Port-au-Prince

•              Construction of a radio-chemotherapy center

•              Urbanization of the Canaan-Jerusalem settlement

•              Operation of the new Mirebalais hospital

•              A job creation program

These priorities would now be financed directly through the Government budget rather than indirectly through the United Nations or the Inter-American Development Bank.

Finance Minister Jean-Marie noted, “I believe that the HRF resources for budget support would be well-used to finance the Government’s priorities for reconstruction.”  In a previous decision, the HRF Steering Committee had already reserved $20 million for budget support, bringing the total available to the Government’s budget to $48 million.

The Steering Committee also addressed the future of the fund.  The HRF Manager, Josef Leitmann, noted that “the Fund could a) mobilize new contributions, b) continue with business-as-usual or c) reduce its activities to a minimum but remain open through 2017.”  The consensus was that the HRF serves a useful purpose and should remain active in support of Haiti’s recovery and development.