Union of South American Nations to Help Haiti

The Member countries of the Union of South American Nations (Unión de Naciones Suramericanas, Unasur) agreed this Tuesday create a $300 million fund to help in the reconstruction of Haiti following the earthquake of January 12. This was decided by the governments of Unasur in a summit meeting in Quito, which included the participation of Haiti’s President René Préval as well as other presidents and ministers of the region. The group is also requesting a low-interest loan of 200 million dollars from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), which already agreed for member countries to repay it within a period of 20 years.

The Quito Declaration promotes joint actions to channel and coordinate humanitarian aid to Haiti and to develop an extended support plan. The document was signed by the Ecuador’s President Rafael Correa, Colombia’s President Álvaro Uribe, and Bolivian Vice President Álvaro García Linera, along with other high-ranking members from Brazil, Venezuela, Uruguay, Chile, Paraguay, French Guiana, and Suriname. Peruvian President Alan García also expressed his country’s intention to join the initiative.

In terms of the reconstruction of infrastructure, Unasur announced the installation of several shelters for the thousands of people who lost their homes after the earthquake. Some countries will donate specialized machinery to aid in housing construction. The group agreed also work together for the recovery of the agricultural sector in Haiti, reforestation, as well as seed donation to help revive the economy of the Caribbean nation. Member countries have also considered indispensable to help improve the health system in Haiti.

For full article (in Spanish), see http://www.elpais.com/articulo/internacional/paises/latinoamericanos/unen/ayudar/Haiti/elpepuintlat/20100209elpepuint_16/Tes

In photo, Presidents René Préval and Rafael Correa.

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