| GEO World|
| UN hosts fund-raiser to rebuild quake-ravaged Haiti|
| Updated at: 0759 PST, Wednesday, March 31, 2010|
UNITED NATIONS: The United Nations and the United States jointly host a major fund-raiser for Haiti here Wednesday seeking 3.8 billion dollars to help the Caribbean nation recover from a devastating earthquake.
Some 138 countries, international bodies such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, non-governmental organizations and representatives of the Haitian diaspora are attending the "International Donors Conference Towards a New Future for Haiti" at UN headquarters.
The meeting is chaired by Haitian President Rene Preval, with UN chief Ban Ki-moon and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton serving as co-hosts.
Its aim: help the battered country -- already the poorest in the Americas before the quake -- "build back better" after the January 12 temblor leveled parts of its capital Port-au-Prince, killing at least 220,000 people and leaving 1.3 million homeless.
Edmond Mulet, the acting UN envoy to Haiti said Monday four billion dollars will be needed over the next 18 months to build hospitals, schools, roads and ports and to help steer the country of nine million people on the road to growth and modernization.
And Helen Clark, the administrator for the United Nations Development Program said Wednesday's conference aimed "to raise around 3.8 billion dollars for the next 18 months or so."