Sweden to contribute US$67 million to Haiti

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The Swedish government announced Monday that it would disburse its entire annual contribution of 425 million Swedish kronor (about US$67 million to the UN Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) for quake relief in Haiti.

"We would like to express our deep sympathy for the hard-hit people of Haiti. We are also making a rapid response to the UN's appeal for help for the tremendous humanitarian disaster in Haiti, and have contributed 180 million kronor so far," said Minister for International Development Cooperation Gunilla Carlsson in a statement.

"Efforts are now focusing on ensuring that the emergency assistance really reaches those in need. At the same time, the more long-term contributions must be woven into the planning process to ensure reconstruction once the urgent humanitarian phase is over," she said.

The UN CERF fund is administered by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) and can provide immediate financing for urgent humanitarian operations such as the Haiti earthquake disaster.

Following the earthquake disaster in Haiti, the UN has appealed to its Member States for early payment of pledged contributions in 2010 to CERF, the statement said.

It pointed out that Sweden was the second largest donor to CERF, accounting for about 15 percent of donor funding. Sweden has also responded to an appeal from the World Food Program by contributing 21.5 million kronor to the organization's efforts in Haiti.

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