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World Bank cancels Haiti's debt

By the CNN Wire Staff
May 28, 2010 11:32 a.m. EDT

Washington (CNN) -- The World Bank has canceled Haiti's $36 million debt, the institution announced Friday.

Haiti owed the money to the International Development Association, the World Bank's fund for the poorest countries. The nation, wracked by a devastating earthquake on January 12, now does not owe any more money to the World Bank.

"Relieving Haiti's remaining debt is part of our effort to pursue every avenue to help Haiti's reconstruction efforts," World Bank Group President Robert B. Zoellick said in a release. "We will continue to work in close cooperation with the Haitian government and our international partners to support the country's recovery and longer-term development."

The debt cancellation was made possible by contributions from Belgium, Canada, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland, the World Bank said.

Since the earthquake, the World Bank has made $479 million available to Haiti to support recovery and development through June 2011.

In addition, a broad array of international donors pledged nearly $10 billion in long-term assistance to Haiti's earthquake recovery efforts during a conference in March at United Nations headquarters.

Last year, prior to the earthquake, Haiti obtained $1.2 billion in debt relief from the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and other creditors.

January's 7.0-magnitude earthquake killed more than 200,000 people and leveled large parts of Port-au-Prince, Haiti's capital.

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