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From left to right: Catherine Ashton, Hillary Clinton and Ban Ki-moon© EU

EU pledges over €1.2bn for Haiti’s reconstruction and long-term development.

The funding decision was announced at a UN conference on Haiti in New York last week.

In all, donor countries promised €7.3bn ($9.9bn) to help the country rebuild after January’s devastating earthquake. Of this amount, more than half ($5.3bn) was pledged for 2010 - 11. Haiti had only requested $3.9bn for this period.

Catherine Ashton, the EU’s high representative for foreign affairs, has called for a 10-year economic plan that goes beyond reconstruction to emphasise development and growth.

“The EU recognizes that rebuilding Haiti also implies a long-term commitment on the part of its development partners,” she says. The EU has long been one of the Caribbean nation’s biggest donors.

Kristalina Georgieva, commissioner for humanitarian aid, suggests using cash-for-work schemes and small loans to spur development and empower Haitians.

The earthquake killed more than 200 000 people and left more than a million homeless. The EU has already provided €300m in humanitarian aid.

More on EU aid for Haiti

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