Haiti sees less than half aid pledged: World Bank

WASHINGTON, July 22, 2011 (AFP) - Haiti, still reeling from a disastrous earthquake 19 months ago, has yet to receive even half of the international donations pledged, according to a World Bank report published Friday.

At an international donors conference held in New York in March 2010, 55 donors pledged $4.58 billion in grants in 2010 and 2011 for rebuilding the country.

But as of June, donors had disbursed $1.74 billion, just 38 percent of the pledges, the World Bank said.

The Haitian president, Michel Martelly, called on international donors to deliver on their promises.

"The reconstruction effort needs to be more effective and must be implemented at a more dynamic pace," Martelly said in the preface of the World Bank report.

Martelly said he wanted to "convey the message to our friends and potential donors that every penny will be managed efficiently and transparently to achieve the desired objectives.

"In return, I hope that commitments towards the Haitian people will materialize into concrete engagements."

Haiti, the poorest country in the Americas, was devastated by the January 12, 2010 earthquake, which killed more than 225,000 people and wrecked much of the capital, leaving some 1.3 million homeless.