A U.N. donor conference co-hosted by U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton generated $5.3 billion to help Haiti recover from the January 12 earthquake that devastated the already poverty-striken nation. The amount is a full $1.3 billion more than the Haitian government had requested. One-hundred and thirty nations in total pledged aid, with the U.S. and E.U. nations contributing the largest sums. "This is the down-payment Haiti needs for wholesale national renewal," Ban said. The recovery plan is multi-layered, with an initial focus on more immediate and urgent concerns, such as rebuilding the nation's broken infrastructure (government buildings, schools, and hospitals). Thereafter, more long-term goals, such as economic self-sufficiency, will be pursued.
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