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Estonia Helps to Rebuild Haiti

31.03.2010

Foreign Minister Urmas Paet underlined the dedication of international community at the International Donors’ Conference Towards a New Future for Haiti in New York, and pledged 100 000 US dollars for the long-term recovery of Haiti. The new funds will be channelled through Worldbank’s Multi-Donor Trust Fund and UNICEF’s child protection programmes.

The Haiti Donors’ Conference was hosted by the United States and the United Nations, in cooperation with the Government of Haiti, and with the support of Brazil, Canada, the European Union, France, and Spain. According to the Post-Disaster Needs Assessment  put together by the government of Haiti, the total cost of earthquake damage is 120% of Haiti’s GDP. It is the largest damages ever measured to a country caused by a natural disaster.

After the devastating earthquake of January 12, Estonia immediately responded to Haiti’s request for help and contributed through the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), as well as sent an IT-expert, a team of logistics and medical staff. Estonian experts were dispatched to Haiti in the framework of the International Humanitarian Partnership (IHP).  One member of Estonian Disaster Relief Team (EDRT) was sent to Haiti as a member of  the EU evaluation team to coordinate incoming aid flows. Estonia was cooperating with Haiti already before the catastrophe. Last year Estonian experts, with the support of the Soros Foundation, were advising the government of Haiti on the development of an electronic-governance system, or “e-governance”. Estonian experts will continue to help drafting Haiti’s first strategy paper and action plan on “e-governance”. All in all, Estonia has contributed nearly half a million US dollars for alleviating the aftermath of the earthquake.

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