International donors on Wednesday pledged $5.3 billion to Haiti, exceeding expectations in a worldwide drive to rebuild the country after January's shattering earthquake.
Ban told reporters at the end of a one-day donors conference at U.N. headquarters that the pledges were "far beyond expectations." The world body had hoped to raise $3.9 billion at the conference to help the impoverished Caribbean nation over the next two years.
Some 120 countries also made a total longer-term commitment of some $9 billion, a figure that includes the $5.3 billion in shorter term aid. "This is the down payment Haiti needs for wholesale national renewal. It is the way to build back better," Ban said.
Ban had called for quick donations in response to a U.N. request for $1.4 billion in immediate humanitarian assistance for Haiti, which even before the Jan. 12 earthquake was the poorest country in the western hemisphere.
So far, the request has only been half funded, fueling fears that the rainy season will compound the disaster for some 1.2 million Haitians left homeless by the disaster.
Turkey announced that it would send one million USD as aid to the earthquake victims.
Turkey's Permanent Representative at the United Nations, Ertugrul Apakan, said that Turkey, to date, had provided humanitarian assistance worth one million USD to Haiti after the recent devastating earthquake.
We will send an additional one million USD to Haiti soon, Apakan said.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, co-host of Wednesday's meeting, said the United States would pledge $1.15 billion for long-term recovery, which she said must be planned and executed by Haiti's government.
"Aid is important but aid has never saved a country. Our goal must be the empowerment of the Haitian people. They're the ones who will carry on the work of rebuilding Haiti long after our involvement has ended," she said.
Clinton was joined at the meeting by her husband, former U.S. President Bill Clinton, the U.N. special envoy for Haiti who will coordinate relief efforts for the country.
The U.N. meeting seeks to raise funds for a Haitian government recovery plan that includes decentralizing the economy to create jobs and wealth outside Port-au-Prince, the capital of some 4 million people.
Haitian President Rene Preval thanked donors and told reporters his country "must take advantage of this opportunity that we now have."
"I appeal to my fellow Haitians to understand the effort that has now been made by the international community and the responsibility that we now have in the interests of our country to respond rapidly and appropriately," Preval said.
Haitian Prime Minister Jean-Max Bellerive said his government, which saw all but one of its ministries destroyed, had a vision for Haiti's future but needed urgent help.
Aid agencies say the task is huge. Haiti suffered as many as 300,000 people killed in the magnitude 7.0 earthquake, which crippled the government and caused damage estimated at between $8 and $14 billion.
Ban said the United Nations would use an Internet-based system to track whether the funds were being spent as agreed.
In the crowded, squalid quake survivors' camps of Port-au-Prince, thousands clamored for basic necessities. Overnight rains soaked fragile shelters and turned dusty alleyways to mud.
"We need water, food, toilets, healthcare, light and tents -- shelter," said Silverin Nono, the leader of a camp that has mushroomed across a barren, garbage-strewn hillside called Bas-Canaan north of the city.
International aid agency Oxfam said although the total funding pledged was impressive, countries must ensure it is new money, "not recycled money taken from other humanitarian crises."
"The poor and vulnerable of other disasters should not be paying for this," said Oxfam spokesman Philippe Mathieu.
International Monetary Fund Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn said that if the world community fulfills its pledges, Haiti's economy could grow at an average 8 percent in coming years -- almost 50 percent faster than under previous IMF forecasts.
"That's possible, but condition one is to have the Haitian authorities really in the driver's seat," he told reporters.
Trump's special representative has blamed Hamas for causing "misery" in Gaza
It is still a wide-open race to succeed President Enrique Pena Nieto, who is deeply unpopular heading into the final stretch of his six-year term in a Mexico beset by endless corruption scandals and record levels of violent crime.
His comments came as he faces criticism from survivors of the attack over his ties to the powerful National Rifle Association, and after several thousand rallied in Florida to demand urgent action on gun control.
Temer came to the city to meet Governor Luiz Fernando Pezao, several ministers and General Walter Souza Braga Netto, who will lead the operation and who was in charge of coordinating security when the city hosted the 2016 Olympic Games.
Muslims have suffered the most by far from ISIL’s terrorist attacks, Iraqi premier tells Munich Security Conference
Israel struck six targets affiliated with Hamas's armed wing in Gaza Strip, Palestinian security source says
Washington concurs with Ankara on need for locals taking control of liberated areas, says US defense secretary
Army uses live ammunition, rubber bullets to disperse stone-throwing Palestinians in West Bank, Gaza
"Deal of the Century" refers to a back-channel U.S. plan to settle the Palestine-Israel dispute
Interior Minister Alfonso Navarrete and Alejandro Murat, governor of the state of Oaxaca, were on their way to survey the scene of the destruction left by the 7.2 magnitude earthquake when the accident occurred, the interior ministry tweeted.
The arrival of Trump and his wife Melania came at the end of a difficult day for the families of those killed in Wednesday's rampage at a high school in Parkland, Florida, who learned that the carnage could perhaps have been averted.
Trump to consider report suggesting high tariffs or quotas on steel and aluminum imports
Tanks to be integrated into Iraqi armed forces 'within days', Defense Ministry source says.
Army uses teargas and live ammunition to disperse stone-throwing Palestinians in West Bank city of Nablus