Former President Bill Clinton, who has spent the past year championing Haiti, has a new job: co-czar of Haiti's post-earthquake reconstruction.
Clinton said Tuesday that he accepted the Haitian government offer to help lead the country's reconstruction over the next 18 months. The announcement came on the eve of an international donors conference at the United Nations to raise $3.9 billion of the $11.5 billion the country says it needs to rebuild after the devastating Jan. 12 earthquake.
"The Haitians are committed to building back better -- expanding economic opportunities, strengthening basic services, and increasing the capacity of government," said Clinton, who will continue as the U.N. Special Envoy for Haiti. "They want to create a new future for themselves and I am committed to assisting them."
Clinton complimented Haitian President René Préval's and Prime Minister Jean-Max Bellerive's decision to send legislation to parliament to create the Interim Haiti Recovery Commission, which will guide the reconstruction.
"Their establishment of a Haitian government authority to oversee the future development process is an important step towards expediting projects, ensuring transparency, and coordinating the efforts of donors, [nongovernmental organizations] and the Haitian diaspora," he said.
Préval said in New York, where he arrived Tuesday for the conference, that having Clinton on board was a "prestige."
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