September 15th, 2011
05:36 PM ET
Sean Penn's J/P Haitian Relief Organization has received a $2.25 million grant as the aid group works to help Haiti recover from a devastating 2010 earthquake.
”We believe this grant marks an important step in the rebuilding of Haiti,” Penn, the founder of the organization, said in a statement.
The J/P HRO was awarded funding from the Government of Haiti through a grant by IDA - the World Bank's financing facility for poor countries.
The money will be used to get people into homes through rental subsidies, as well as by creating new housing and repairing existing homes. Specifically, the organization said the funds will be focused on relocating 550 families living in the most dangerous areas of the J/P HRO camps, where 22,300 people are still living.
The grant is just part of a $95 million program financed by the World Bank and the Haiti Reconstruction Fund to pay for neighborhood upgrading and housing reconstruction.
“Together, we will persist until the hundreds of thousands still displaced are safely home,” Penn said.
The actor isn’t the only celeb helping Haiti rebuild. Ben Stiller is raising money for the nation through an upcoming charity art auction.
Art dealer David Zwirner and Stiller set up a new charity, Artists for Haiti, specifically for the September 22 auction. (The actor also started the Stiller Foundation, which has been helping build schools in Haiti.)
Big name artists have donated pieces, including Jeff Koons, Jasper Johns and Cindy Sherman.
The sale, to be held at Christie’s auction house in NYC, is expected to bring in between $7.5 million and $10.5 million, according to Zwirner.
“We knew it would be an extraordinary event and we had a chance to really make a difference,” said Amy Cappellazzo of Christie’s International.
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