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Haiti asks for recovery aid.

4/14/2009 3:10:53 PM

More than 30 countries and international organisations are attending an aid conference

aimed at assisting the impoverished Caribbean island of Haiti.

The conference, sponsored by the Inter-American Development Bank in Washington DC, is to discuss on Tuesday a two-year economic recovery plan developed by Haiti's government, the bank has said.

Hillary Clinton, the US secretary of state, who is to visit Haiti itself on Thursday, is among those attending the conference, along with Ban Ki-moon, the United Nations secretary-general.

Representatives of countries including Canada, France, Spain, Argentina, Brazil and Chile are also attending.

Haiti, the Western hemisphere's poorest nation, has a long history of political violence and instability, with last yeat marked by riots over food shortages leading to the ousting of its government.

Food shortages

Al Jazeera andrsquo;s Teresa Bo, reporting from Gonaives in Haiti, said 80 per cent of Haitians are living in poverty with three million affected by food shortages.

While some organisations such as the World Food Programme have feeding centres in the country, their funding runs out in June and they are concerned where future money will come from.

Haitians are also hoping international organisations will play a more important role in improving their living conditions as many people do not trust the government, she said.

At least 800 people were also killed and around $1bn damage was inflicted by four hurricanes that swept through the country.

Last month the Brussels-based International Crisis Group said donors at the conference should provide $3 billion over the next several years to help Haiti's economy, reduce its vulnerability to natural disasters and maintain access to basic services.

Clinton will meet Rene Preval, the Haitian president, on Thursday for talks on "stability, security and assistance", the US state department said on Tuesday.

She will then travel to the Dominican Republic, which shares the island of Hispaniola with Haiti, where she will meet Leonel Fernandez, the president, before flying to Trinidad and Tobago for the Summit of the Americas.

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Publication:Aljazeera.net
Date:Apr 14, 2009
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