U.S. pledges $100 milllion for Haiti

May 24, 2004 at 7:56 PM
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WASHINGTON, May 24 (UPI) -- The United States said Monday it is providing Haiti with an additional $100 million to help it recover from political turmoil.

A violent uprising brought down the Haitian government last year and forced former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide to leave the country. And political violence that erupted in February caused the island's fragile economy to collapse, Haiti's interim Prime Minister, Gerard Latortue, said.

Latortue appealed for immediate economic relief when he visited Washington three weeks ago.

After a meeting with Latortue, Secretary of State Colin Powell had promised $40 million of additional help for Haiti. But State Department spokesman Richard Boucher told a Monday briefing in Washington the Bush administration has now put together an additional aid package of $100 million.

This money will be used to restore electricity and other vital services and to enable the Haitian government to deal with its large budget deficit.

The additional package nearly triples the $60 million aid program the Bush administration promised earlier this year for humanitarian assistance.

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