March 12, 2010 / 6:10 AM / 9 years ago

UN struggles to get funds for Haiti quake recovery

UNITED NATIONS, March 11 (Reuters) - The United Nations is struggling to provide support to earthquake-ravaged Haiti, as donor nations have been slow to hand over much-needed aid, U.N. humanitarian chief John Holmes said on Thursday.

The U.N. launched a "flash", or emergency, appeal for $562 million from member nations days after the magnitude 7.0 quake on Jan 12., nearly half of which was to be spent on food.

A revised appeal was launched in February to raise a total of $1.4 billion in order to continue to finance emergency relief work, also to fund recovery and reconstruction work in the country.

"We did extremely well on raising funds for the initial flash appeal, but we are struggling, I’m afraid, to raise resources for the revised appeal," Holmes told.

"We have got 49 percent of what we need for the whole year and we are appealing to donors to come forward with more resources for that relief operation," he said.

U.N. officials have said they would reiterate the urgent need for more money at a donors conference on Haiti in New York later this month, which Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will attend.

Haiti is facing the upcoming threat of both the rainy and hurricane seasons, while trying to recover from the earthquake, which killed thousands.

The U.N. has a mandate to provide security in Haiti and is taking over humanitarian relief as U.S. and other foreign troops depart.

Acting U.N. mission chief Edmond Mulet said earlier this week it would probably be impossible to know exactly how many people died, but he believed the toll was not less than than 220,000 or 230,000. (Reporting by Megan Davies; editing by Anthony Boadle)

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