A broad array of international donors Wednesday pledged more than $8 billion in long-term assistance to Haiti's earthquake recovery efforts during a daylong conference at United Nations headquarters.
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon opened the conference, titled "Towards a New Future for Haiti," by urging the more than 100 donors in attendance to provide $11.5 billion over the next 10 years for the reconstruction of the island nation left devastated by a 7.0-magnitude quake in January.
"What we envision, today, is wholesale national renewal &.8230; a sweeping exercise in nation-building on a scale and scope not seen in generations," Ban said, according to the United Nations.
The January 12 earthquake killed more than 200,000 people and severely affected the lives of 3 million more. Many are homeless and in dire need of food, clothing, shelter and health care.
About $4 billion of the funds requested will be used for immediate recovery efforts over the next 18 months and will be administered by an interim reconstruction commission co-chaired by former U.S. President Bill Clinton and Haitian Prime Minister Jean-Max Bellerive.
"The rainy season is fast approaching," Ban said in appealing for immediate funding, according to the U.N. "Some camps for displaced persons are at risk of flooding. Heath and sanitation issues are growing more serious."
In her opening remarks to the conference, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton pledged $1.15 billion on behalf of the United States, but warned the path toward recovery will be a long one that requires lasting commitments from fellow donor nations.
"We cannot just declare our intentions," she said. "We have to follow through and put them into practice. Therefore, this is not only a conference about what financially we pledge to Haiti. We also have to pledge our best efforts to do better ourselves - to offer our support in a smarter way, a more effective way that produces real results for the people of Haiti."
The United States was one of more than three dozen nations to pledge their support, including Australia, Luxembourg, Canada, Chile, Denmark, Ecuador, Norway, Gambia, Slovenia, Oman and Japan.
Also Monday, Ban named Edmond Mulet as the U.N.'s special representative in Haiti, replacing Hedi Annabi, who died in the quake. Mulet has been the interim special representative since Annabi's death. He will also continue his work as the head of the U.N. Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH).