There’s finally good news in Haitian relief efforts: The International Monetary Fund announced that it’s canceling the country’s $268 million debt. The move may allow the country to start the arduous process of long-term structural readjustment after this year’s devastating earthquake, which killed 230,000 people and decimated Port-au-Prince’s already fragile infrastructure.
In addition to canceling the debt, the IMF pledged an additional $60 million to help with reconstruction.
“Donors must start delivering on their promises to Haiti quickly, so reconstruction can be accelerated, living standards quickly improved and social tensions soothed,” IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn said in a statement.
Relief efforts have already proven difficult. Even though 60 countries pledged upwards of $9.9 billion to aid in recovery efforts, less than 2 percent – or $534 million– of that money has actually been delivered. The AP reports that most of the money is mired in “bureaucracy and politics” of the countries that pledged to help.
PHOTO: PORT-AU-PRINCE, HAITI — JULY 12: A dump truck kicks up dust as it passes
through in the Fort National neighborhood on July 12, 2010 in
Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Six months after an earthquake killed an
estimated 230,000 people, many Haitians are struggling to rebuild their
lives. (Photo by Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images)