A young earth quake survivor sits on debris following a major earthquake in Haiti.
India on Thursday announced a cash assistance of USD one million to earthquake-devastated Haiti for immediate and emergency relief purposes.
“India is deeply saddened at the death and destruction caused by the earthquake in Haiti on January 12, 2010. Government has also decided to give 1 million US dollars in cash to Haiti for immediate and emergency relief purposes,” a External Affairs Ministry statement said in New Delhi.
Meanwhile, announcing a $100 million support to Haiti relief effort, US President Barack Obama said one of the largest relief works in recent history is moving towards the Caribbean nation, which has been devastated by earthquake early this week.
“It’s important that everybody in Haiti understand, at this very moment, one of the largest relief efforts in our recent history is moving towards Haiti,” Obama said in a White House statement as he gave details of the relief work being undertaken by the US and the international co-ordination effort it is doing right now.
“Today, I’m also announcing an immediate investment of $100 million to support our relief efforts. This will mean more of the lifesaving equipment, food, water and medicine that will be needed. This investment will grow over the coming year, as we embark on the long-term recovery from this unimaginable tragedy,” he said.
The United States has launched a massive aid operation, including specialists, Coast Guard cutters, helicopters, transport planes and the USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier, along with 2,000 Marines deployed.
Obama, however, acknowledged that given the calamity it is difficult to move things at a desired pace.
“Even as we move as quickly as possible, it will take hours and in many cases days, to get all of our people and resources on the ground. Right now in Haiti, roads are impassable. The main port is damaged. Communications are just beginning to come online and aftershocks continue,” he said.
Also, the World Bank on Thursday announced an additional $100 million in emergency grant fund to Haiti for recovery and reconstruction efforts.
“This is a shocking event and it is crucial that the international community supports the Haitian people at this critical time,” said World Bank President Robert B Zoellick.
“The World Bank is mobilising significant financial assistance and sending a team to help assess damage and reconstruction needs. Our thoughts are with the people of Haiti, our staff, and our UN colleagues,” Zoellick said.
Besides new initiatives, the World Bank may use its existing projects in Haiti, including education and community-driven development for quick and effective relief.
The multilateral development lender is also sending experts to work with the government and its international partners to assess losses and plan for reconstruction.
The Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR) has allocated $250,000 for this assessment, the bank said in a statement.
The World Bank is also planning to provide seed resources to establish the Haiti Reconstruction Fund, a multi-donor trust, to mobilise international support for reconstruction process, it said.