Haiti reveals ambitious reconstruction plan

PORT-AU-PRINCE: Haiti has unveiled the first draft

of its grand reconstruction plan, saying 11.5 billion dollars would

be needed to help the country

rebuild after January’s devastating earthquake.

Prepared by the government with the help of the international community, the Preliminary Damage and Needs Assessment (PDNA) will provide the framework for discussions at a major donors conference in New York on March 31.

The plan, published online yesterday, goes far beyond the immediate priorities of post-quake reconstruction and looks at the massive economic and governance challenges Haiti faces if it wants to become a fully functional state.

“This is a process. This is not a final document. This represents

a vision which is going to be constantly developed to arrive at a final version,” Tourism Minister Patrick Delatour told AFP. It comes more than two months after the January 12 quake, which flattened large parts of Port-au-Prince and surrounding towns and villages, claiming more than 220,000 lives.

A version of the PDNA, given to 28 delegations from countries and organisations gathered in the

Dominican Republic capital

Santo Domingo for a preparatory summit ahead of New York, gave a new toll of 222,570. “The earthquake has created an unprecedented situation, amplified by the fact that it struck the country’s most populous region and its economic and administrative centre,” the assessment said.

Compiled with the help of 250 Haitian and international experts, the study put the total damage from the 7.0-magnitude quake at a massive $ 7.9 billion, or a massive 120 percent of Haiti’s gross domestic product. More than 70 percent of those losses were sustained by the private sector and $4.4 billion worth of damage was to schools, hospitals, roads, bridges, buildings, ports and airports. “The total amount of money needed stands at $11.5 billion and breaks down like this: 50 percent for the social sector, 17 percent for infrastructure including housing, and 15 percent for the environment and disaster risk management,” the document said.

Delatour stressed that 11.5 billion dollars was only a ballpark

figure and that estimates for the

total reconstruction cost ranged anywhere between eight and 14 billion dollars.