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Haiti - Education : Happy Hearts Fund and IDB partner to support Education in Haiti
22/09/2011 14:29:10

Haiti - Education : Happy Hearts Fund and IDB partner to support Education in Haiti
The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the Happy Hearts Fund (HHF) yesterday entered into a Memorandum of Understanding, (MoU) harmonizing efforts, in support of the Government of Haiti (GOH) to build back schools that were affected by the January 12, 2010, thus making a long-term and sustainable commitment for the future of the people of Haiti. This commitment falls within the Haitian Education Plan 2010–2015, which aims to expand access to education for all Haitian children.

Under the MoU, HHF and IDB agree to support the implementation of the 2010–2015 Education Plan in Haiti, in particular, the objectives of access to free basic education and quality of learning that will need the construction and rehabilitation of school infrastructure, the reduction of the cost of education for poor households and opportunities to benefit from improved learning environments and methods.

"Those of us who work in international development know all too well that access to quality education is paramount for a country’s development and sustainable future,” said IDB President Luis Alberto Moreno. “The Inter-American Development Bank is very proud to be working with the Happy Hearts Fund on the incredible possibilities to support the children of Haiti through the education projects we will develop and implement together, in coordination with the Government of Haiti and in line with the Government’s Education Strategy."

In particular, HHF and IDB agree to identify and co-finance schools in Haiti, specifically in the cities of Port-au-Prince, Léogâne and Jacmel. These areas were hit hardest by the earthquake that posed many new challenges to a country already facing a difficult path toward development. HHF and IDB launched their partnership in September 2010, and have since undertaken a joint mission to Haiti with the objective of pre-evaluating schools in need of rehabilitation or complete reconstruction.

Petra Nemcova, Founder and Chairwoman of Happy Hearts Fund stated: "I have a deep respect for the power of education and have seen firsthand how children, their families and entire communities blossom around a new school. Happy Hearts Fund is proud to be partnering with the Inter-American Development Bank and support the Government of Haiti by bringing safe vibrant learning environments back to the children of Haiti. This partnership will provide many generations with the opportunity for a brighter future."

The MoU was signed yesterday on the occasion of the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Annual Meeting 2011, taking place in New York City. IDB President Luis Alberto Moreno and HHF Founder and Chairwoman Petra Nemcova signed the MoU on behalf of their respective organizations and therewith officially solidified their partnership.

IDB and the Haitian Education Reform

The IDB expects to contribute $250 million over five years to support the plan. Additionally the IDB aims to raise, mobilize and leverage $250 million more from non-traditional donors, such as Happy Hearts Fund.

With resources from a $50 million IDB grant approved in November 2010, Haiti is currently rebuilding 30 public schools, putting up 25 semi-permanent schools, providing free education to 35,000 children in non-public schools and school kits and textbooks to 30,000 additional children, as well as strengthening the Ministry of Education’s capacity to implement its Plan. The scope of this IDB grant has also been increased by several co-financing efforts, including CAD$20 million from CIDA, US$10 million from the Haitian Reconstruction Fund and US$1 million from Trinidad and Tobago First Citizen Bank.

About Happy Hearts Fund
Happy Hearts Fund is a non-profit foundation dedicated to improving children’s lives through educational and sustainable programs in areas affected by major natural phenomena. Globally, HHF has an active portfolio of operations in nine countries, including Haiti, benefiting more than 34,330 children and 337,450 community members.

HL/ HaitiLibre

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