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Oxfam reacts to the Haiti conference

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Philippe Mathieu, Spokesperson of Oxfam in New York said:

“The $5 billion headline figure is impressively generous and what is needed for Haiti.

“However, this must be new, not recycled money taken from other humanitarian crises. The poor and vulnerable of other disasters should not be paying for this.

"The last time the region was hit by a natural disaster of this scale, Hurricane Mitch of 1998, only less than a third of the $9 billion promised materialized. This cannot be allowed to happen this time.

“Almost every country exceeded in its financial obligations to help Haiti. Soon these pledges will need to turn into concrete progress on the ground. This cannot be a VIP pageant of half promises.”

“The amounts pledged today should be made a reality for the tens of thousands of victims as soon as possible. Mechanisms will need to be put in place quickly for the Haitian civil society, the private sector and local authorities to be able to have a say and watch over the spending of these funds. The government must also immediately start communicating the options people have in advance of the rainy season. Without this, NGOs and the UN might be put in the difficult position of doing it themselves."

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