The Obama administration on Friday announced it supports international debt relief for Haiti to aid rebuilding efforts there after the devastating earthquake last month.
“The earthquake in Haiti was a catastrophic setback to the Haitian people who are now facing tremendous emergency humanitarian and reconstruction needs, and meeting Haiti’s financing needs will require a massive multilateral effort,” Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner said in a statement. “Today, we are voicing our support for what Haiti needs and deserves – comprehensive multilateral debt relief.”
Geithner also backed the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) intention to relieve Haiti of its entire IMF debt, which includes a $102 million emergency loan issued after the earthquake hit in late January.
The Paris Club of international creditors in January called on large nations to cancel Haiti’s debts. The organization estimated that Haiti’s public external debt totaled $1.885 million at the end of Sept. 2008.
In Sept. 2009, the U.S. agreed to wipe out all of Haiti’s outstanding debt to the U.S.
The Treasury announced that the U.S. will seek a commitment with other donors for the relief of Haiti’s debt to a number of international development groups.