World Bank defers Haiti debt

[PeterPaul.ca] — Haiti’s $38 million dollar debt to the World Bank will be deferred for the next five years, the institution announced Thursday.

“Due to the crisis caused by the earthquake, we are waiving any payments on this debt for the next five years and at the same time we are working to find a way forward to cancel the remaining debt,” said a statement from the World Bank.

The amount owed equals about 4% of Haiti’s total external debt.

Currently, there are 15 World Bank projects in Haiti which include disaster risk management, infrastructure, education, and community governance.

Since January 2005, the International Development Association has provided $308 million dollars to Haiti in addition to more than $55 million in trust funds administered by the World Bank.

On January 13, the World Bank announced emergency grant funding for Haiti in the amount of $100 million dollars which will help support recovery and reconstruction efforts in the stricken Caribbean nation.

“This is a shocking event and it is crucial that the international community supports the Haitian people at this critical time,” said World Bank Group President Robert Zoellick following the announcement.

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