International donors pledged Tuesday to provide Haiti with $324 million over the next two years, well below the $900 million that the country's prime minister says the government needs over that period. The pledges were announced after representatives from more than 30 donor countries and international organizations gathered to raise money to help the Western Hemisphere's poorest country recover from last year's devastating hurricanes and food riots. The Brussels-based International Crisis Group, a conflict watchdog, last month urged donors to provide the struggling Caribbean country $3 billion over the next few years.
The $324 million in pledges include about $41 million in budget support for 2009, according to Pablo Bachelet, a spokesman for the Inter-American Development Bank, which hosted the conference. Bachelet provided no breakdown of donors' pledges.