Page last updated at 11:24 GMT, Wednesday, 31 March 2010 12:24 UK

Haiti aid: reconstruction costs

Images of Haiti earthquake

The human cost of the earthquake in Haiti has been huge; millions have been left hungry, their homes, schools and hospitals destroyed and their livelihoods taken away. The government estimates it will cost about $11.5bn (£7.6bn) to repair and reconstruct the country over the next three years.

The earthquake - the most powerful to hit Haiti for 200 years - caused maximum impact as it hit the most densely populated area of the country. The government assessment said the damage was all the more severe because it came after a period of relative stability, when people had begun to see their living conditions improve.

An emergency flash appeal launched by the international aid community within days of the Haiti earthquake quickly reached its $577m (£382m) target - but that target had to be revised upwards a month later when the full extent of the humanitarian operation became clear.

The UN Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) issued a new target of $1.5bn to be spent over the next 12 months. The key aim is to provide an "environment for safe and healthy living for all affected people until reconstruction restores normality."

Haiti graph showing progress to appeal fund

The UN conference on 31 March is meeting to consider longer-term aid for Haiti. The country's government published a Preliminary Damage and Needs Assessment (PDNA) on 24 March. The document put the total cost of earthquake damage at $7.9bn - 120% of Haiti's GDP.

It has estimated the cost of rebuilding the country will cost $11.5bn, spread across a variety of sectors, including governance, environment, social sectors, infrastructure and production.

The Haitian government says public confidence needs to be regained in the way the country is governed and this will involve improving the system of public administration so wages get paid, encouraging the democratic process and modernising the justice system.

Graph showing breakdown of reconstruction costs

Haiti has been identified as a very vulnerable country, at high risk of cyclone and other natural disasters, and the PDNA recommends money should be spent improving on disaster prevention.

Social services were inadequate before the earthquake with many children not attending school and 38% of the population over the age of 15 were illiterate. Reconstruction money will be spent on providing free primary education for all, improving access to health services and reducing malnutrition.

Money spent on infrastructure will include training in building techniques to reduce risks, restoring the road and telecommunications networks.

Before the earthquake, unemployment was running at 30%. Trade, tourism, transport and communication were all badly affected by the quake and so efforts will concentrate on economic growth to create new jobs, as well as improving working conditions.

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