At Summit, World Leaders Pledge to Help Haiti Rebuild

Gathering sees cooperation, reluctance to address endemic problems
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 25, 2010 5:48 PM CST
At Summit, World Leaders Pledge to Help Haiti Rebuild
Haitian Prime Minister Jean-Max Bellerive pauses during a conference discussing the future of Haiti on Monday, Jan. 25, 2010 in Montreal.   (AP Photo/Paul Chiasson,The Canadian Press)

World leaders at an international summit in Montreal today agreed that rebuilding Haiti will take decades. In fact, "rebuilding" is hardly the word—if successful, the state envisioned by envoys to the conference will bear little resemblance to pre-earthquake Haiti. Canadian PM Stephen Harper said the world community must commit to years of involvement in Haiti and "hold ourselves and each other accountable."

Haitian PM Jean-Max Bellerive reiterated the widely acknowledged need for tents, doctors, and engineers, the Miami Herald reports. Though not much discussed, endemic corruption threatens the state's recovery, the Montreal Gazette reports. Even more taboo was the subject of other countries' agricultural subsidies, which allow imported food prices to undercut prices charged by Haitian farmers. But none of the 19 countries in attendance went as far as to propose scrapping their subsidies to benefit the Haitian economy (More Montreal stories.)

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