(Adds details on IMF loan)
WASHINGTON, Jan 14 (Reuters) - The International Monetary Fund said on Thursday it will increase Haiti’s existing loan program by $100 million and disburse the funds quickly to help the government rebuild from the massive earthquake.
“The emergency financing would be provided as an augmentation to the existing IMF-supported arrangement with Haiti,” IMF Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn said, adding the funding had to first be approved by the IMF board.
Strauss-Kahn’s daughter worked in Haiti last for the United Nations Development Program. He personally survived an earthquake in Morocco where he grew up.
Addressing Haitians in French during his first news conference this year in Washington, Strauss-Kahn said he was deeply saddened by Haiti’s suffering following the 7.0-magnitude earthquake.
“We are coordinating with other international agencies to mobilize assistance as quickly as possible in order to help Haiti with the difficult task ahead of rebuilding the country,” he said.
Since 2006 the IMF has disbursed close to $170 million to Haiti under the IMF Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility for poor countries. Financial support under the program has been increased twice before to help the country deal with the impact of high food and fuel prices in 2008, and again last year after a series of hurricanes and the global recession.
Haiti received $1.2 billion debt relief from the IMF and World Bank in June 2009. The new funding is additional debt incurred by the country. (Reporting by Lesley Wroughton; Editing by Andrew Hay)
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