The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) will redirect millions of U.S. dollars in grants to support reconstruction efforts in Haiti, IDB President Luis Alberto Moreno said Thursday.
"We are working closely with other donor agencies and member nations to assist in emergency relief efforts, and we stand prepared to help our member nation in its hour of need," Moreno said in a statement.
According to Moreno, the IDB can play a key role in rebuilding infrastructure and basic services in Port-au-Prince, the capital of Haiti, which was hit by a devastating 7.3-magnitude earthquake on Tuesday.
The IDB has some 330 million U.S. dollars in funds to be given to Haiti, of which 90 million could be promptly redirected to reconstruction works of top priority in the Caribbean country.
In addition, the IDB expects to approve up to 128 million dollars in new grants for Haiti this year, potentially providing more resources for its reconstruction.
The IDB will give an emergency donation of 200,000 dollars to the Haitian government for immediate rescue works, Moreno announced on Tuesday evening.
Although there are still communication problems in Haiti, the IDB staff in Port-au-Prince are safe and the bank has taken measures to evacuate its non-essential staff to the neighboring Dominican Republic or to a safe location outside the city, Moreno said.
He also urged the international community to step up aid efforts to Haiti.
(Xinhua News Agency January 15, 2010)