It is during our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light

Mwen se echantiyon yon ras kap boujonnen men ki poko donnen

Si vous voulez vous faire des ennemis essayer de changer les choses

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Weekly Haiti Election Update # 1 by Stanley Lucas

Given the fast developments related to President Preval’s efforts to solidify an electoral coup on November 28, I’m launching a new feature on my blog in which I will provide weekly updates on the government’s actions in the run up to Haiti’s elections.  This is a follow up series to my article about the potential for the US to waste their funding in this election, which is certain to result in a Preval-masterminded coup (see: ). 


Diaspora candidates rejected; corrupt former officials accepted


   ·      This week, the partisan CEP rejected 15 Presidential candidates and approved 19.  No official reason for rejection was given to the rejected candidates, which included all four Diaspora candidates.  Observers in Haiti note that the current government fears the Diaspora returning to Haiti to restore order and build capacity.  Their concerns are reinforced by the business cartel, Group de Bourdon, which controls 90% of Haiti’s economy and is protected by the Preval Administration.  The Groupe is fearful of the Diaspora repatriating to participate in and jumpstart economic competition and development.




      Of the 19 approved candidates, 14 have close ties to the ruling Party and a few others are rumored to have paid kickbacks to the CEP for approval.  The majority of the14 with close ties also have served in the Haitian government and managed state funds.  All of them have been linked to corruption, and not one of them has the required “discharge” paperwork certifying that they did not mismanage those state funds.  These reports are required by the Constitution and issued by the Parliamentary Discharge Bicameral Commission. 


   ·      By accepting candidates linked to corruption, the CEP is reaffirming its partisanship and reinforcing the belief that they are completely unable to preside over a free and fair election.


Preval puts in place local operatives


  ·      While everyone was busy watching the World Cup, the CEP – working in conjunction with President Preval – ramped up the local presence of the Inite party members in both the electoral and municipal electoral bureaus.  While the exact number of appointees is unknown, there are reports that new Inite operatives have been appointed to each of the 10 departmental bureaus and each of the 140 municipal bureaus.  This new bureau personnel will impact every single polling station throughout the country as they have direct responsibility for hiring poll workers.


   ·      In addition to the electoral bureau representatives, Preval appointed a slew of new delegues, or Presidential appointees to the local levels who possess executive powers over all the local branches of the central ministries.  Preval replaced about 40% of the current delegues to ensure loyalty to his goals and to Inite.  The delegues have also received arms and money to support their colleagues from the Inite party in the electoral bureaus to support the electoral coup by any means necessary. The delegues have a tremendous amount of power as the Presidential representatives.  They oversee local offices of all the ministries, police and influence over judiciary.  They will use their influence to silence any opposition.


  ·      Their tactic will be to change the results at the polling station after the polls close.  Part of the plan is to pre-stuff ballot boxes one or two days prior to election day so they are ready to be swapped out at the polling sites.  The overall goal is to secure a 2/3rd majority for Inite in the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies as well as retain the Presidency.  Preval envisions serving as a “Putinesque” Prime Minister.  This situation will allow them to amend the constitution at will.


Little confidence in the international observation missions


    ·      The official “International Observation Mission” is already in-country.  The mission is comprised of representatives from the OAS and CARICOM.  The head of this mission, Ambassador Colin Granderson, has a controversial track record in Haiti and has been strongly criticized for his partisanship by various actors in the political parties, civil society and media, including the most popular radio station in Haiti, Radio Caraibes.


   ·      The perception among Haitians is that the international mission will merely rubberstamp the election results in the name of stability.  Some observers even view them as a rubberstamp for Preval. 


    ·      For their part, they have done nothing to dispel this criticism.  Since their arrival in Haiti, they have remained completely silent on the growing concerns about a Preval electoral coup, the well-documented partisanship of the CEP and the recent controversial rejection of candidates in violation of the constitution.  Their actions are a stark contrast to Senator Lugar’s calls for a restructuring of the partisan CEP.


  ·      Until now, Preval has essentially thumbed his nose at Senator Lugar’s calls for free and fair elections and ramped up efforts to put in place an electoral coup that is reminiscent of President Fujimori in Peru.  Hopefully, Senator Lugar and others in the US Congress and Administration will keep close tabs on the developing situation.  The US Government provides $30 million in funding for the elections, and it would be devastating to see that much needed funding go to waste in a sham election that will create more instability and complicate the reconstruction process.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The Florida Elections: A Missed Opportunity for Haitians? By Stanley Lucas

The August 24 Florida primary was an historic opportunity for Haitian-Americans to enter national level politics in the United States.  Representative Kendrick Meeks (D) vacated his Congressional seat in District 17, home to the biggest concentration of Haitian-Americans in the country, to run for the Senate.  Four Haitian-American candidates emerged as candidates for the District 17 Democratic primary.  While their enthusiasm was admirable, several analysts (myself included) warned that if four candidates stood for elections, they would split the Haitian vote, and undermine the chances of a Haitian-American victory.  There were calls for them to come together for the greater good, and coalesce around one candidate with the most support in the Haitian-American community and the best chance to win.  We noted that our countrymen in Haiti needed the Diaspora support more than ever.  Unfortunately, the candidates were unmoved by these calls, and insisted on proceeding with their campaign.  As predicted, Haitian-American candidates cumulatively won the race, but split the vote and squandered this rare opportunity.


The division of the Haitian-American vote resulted in the election of a popular African-American candidate, Fredrica Wilson (68).  Frederica won 34.5% of the vote and is expected to win the November election in this strongly Democratic district.  Haitian-American Rudy Moise came in second place with 16.12%, and the three other Haitian-American candidates received 10.21%, 8.45% and 5.99% respectively.  In other words, Haitian-American candidates earned 40.77% of the vote -- enough for a comfortable win.  If there were only one Haitian-American candidate, it is likely s/he would have won by an even larger percentage as we could have consolidated resources and mounted an even strong campaign.


Prior to the election, on my blog  , I conducted four informal polls asking which of the four candidates had the best chance to win.  To be sure, my polls were unscientific; however, they very accurately that Rudy Moise would get the most amount of support in the primary among the four candidates.


Unfortunately the dream of having national level representation is now over.  Haitian-Americans only make up a majority of the vote in very few communities and nowhere more prominently than in District 17.  It is incredibly difficult to challenge an incumbent as we also saw last night as the establishment candidates throughout the country beat their challengers even in this atmosphere of “anti-incumbency”. 


On the state level, the results were mixed.  Unfortunately Alix Desulme lost in District 108 by a mere 356 votes.  Better turnout would have certainly edged him to victory.  In District 104, John Patrick Julien won with 39.96% -- congratulations to him!


So what are the lessons learned from this experience?  If we can get behind one Haitian-American candidate, we have a good chance of winning – and winning handily in areas that are Haitian-American.  We also need to turnout to support Haitian-American candidates.  They often lose by very small margins, as we saw in District 108, while thousands of Haitian-Americans fail to turnout to vote.  Additionally, if we had a truly unified coalition of Haitian Diaspora in the US, this group could be a powerhouse for endorsements and fundraising for Haitian-American candidates.  And finally, we have relearned the lesson of our founding fathers:  “In Unity There is Strength”!


On a separate note, the Florida elections remind us about what elections should be:  free and fair.  Unfortunately, our country is now heading into the election season without any hope of free and fair elections.  The huge toll on the electoral infrastructure from the earthquake and the totally partisan composition of the CEP (Provisional Electoral Council) have opened an avenue for President Preval to put in place an electoral coup (for additional information see: ).  The Haitian Diaspora can play a huge role in promoting democratic elections by joining with their countrymen in demanding a non-partisan and upstanding CEP to oversee these critical elections.  We can also work together to encourage the United States to hold funding for the elections unless certain changes are made in country, including a reshuffling of the CEP.  These measures would go a long way to promoting democracy and transparency in our country.

Maguerite Laurent alias Zili Danto, Prominent Aristidiennes Distort Haiti’s History for Personal Gain? by Stanley Lucas

For years, Marguerite Laurent (alias Zili Danto) a Haitian-American has been an ardent defender and a defacto spokesperson for former Haitian dictator Jean-Bertrand Aristide.  What always struck me as being strange was that she injected a heavy dose of racism into her defense of Aristide when the Haitian people were focused on the political violence and vast corruption that led to his downfall.  Shedding light on her race baiting, a YouTube video recently surfaced in which African-American leader Louis Farrakhan discusses Haiti’s history and gives advice to presidential candidate and hip hop star, Wyclef Jean.  In the speech, Farrakhan briefly mentions Zili (see “Minister Farrakhan's Prophetic Warning to Wyclef Jean on Leading Hait” at; Farrakhan’s mention of Zili is at 5 mins 38 seconds). 


Is Zili using her access to Farrakhan’s church to promote her race-based interpretations of Haiti’s history?  Race baiters have always tried to leverage the fact that Haiti is the world’s first black republic to their personal or ideological advantage.  That was the case of Randal Robinson and his wife Hazel Robinson who became rich on the back of the Haitians thanks to Aristide’s corrupt business dealings and spreading around state funds to his corrupt allies (for more details click here:  And now they have injected race into Haiti’s recovery and presidential elections by using Farrakhan.  Because he was poorly advised by Zili, Farrakhan’s speech is full of historical distortion, factual errors and contradictions. 


To be sure, Haiti is 99% black and proud to be the world's first black republic.  However, Haiti’s independence was not just about race.  Haiti's founding fathers saw beyond race to the universal values of freedom and equality.  Haitians fought alongside Simon Bolivar in his quest to liberate the Latin American countries.  They fought alongside the Americans in the Revolutionary War against the British.  It was not about Latinos or Americans.  For Haitians, it was about freedom and liberation. It is true, however, that the ruling powers of that time may have considered us a threat because of our cause and because of our race, but that did not have an impact on our purpose.   Our founding fathers, including Toussaint Louverture and Jacques Dessalines, were visionaries and truly unique, brave men who selflessly put their lives on the line for freedom.  They should be an inspiration to us all as we rebuild our country. 


Distorting and essentially rewriting Haiti’s history undermines our forefathers and their great history.  Haiti’s history should be sacred, but the collective memory of the Haitian independence movement could be tainted by these assertions, and that’s a travesty.

What is also interesting about Zili’s link to Farrakhan and the supportive tenor for Wyclef in his speech.  It is surprising that she would be involved with a speech that was essentially “blessing” Wyclef’s candidacy.  Wyclef very publicly sided against Aristide in 2004.  He supported the violent rebellion led by Guy Phillippe and called for Aristide’s resignation (for Wyclef’s statement see:  Further, proudly sitting behind Wyclef is Ron Daniel, also a once fervent Aristide supporter, who has pursued every avenue possible to make money in Haiti.  How do these Aristide defenders explain their support for someone who condemned Aristide?


It seems some of the more prominent Aristidiennes have chosen a new master:  Farrakhan.  Their impassioned defense of Aristide has fallen by the wayside; opportunism or access to money and power has trumped principle exposing them for what they are:  Haiti exploiters.  The fact is Aristidiennes see opportunity associated with Wyclef  -- and that far outweighs their “commitment” to Aristide. 


And finally, in another historical blunder, Farrakhan goes on to say that Aristide was the first democratically elected president of Haiti.  This is just not true.  Article 106 of the Constitution of 1806 inaugurated the first elections in Haiti.  The first election was held in 1810.  Over the past 200 years, we have had many democratic elections and 36 elected legislatures.  Unfortunately, we have not had continuous democracy over the past 200 years, however.  The elections of 1990 that swept Aristide into power were the first democratic elections of the modern era, but again, let us not ignore the achievements of our founders by saying that these were the first democratic elections.


Race baiters and opportunists have always tried to exploit Haiti.  At this fragile time in our history, we need to expose these people for what they are and make a clean break from their manipulation.  Opportunists such as Zili Danto reduce our proud history to racism for personal gain.  She alone should have to live with her personal contradictions and lack of principle – she shouldn’t inflict insult on a proud country with a proud history.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Haiti: La Presse INDEPENDANTE Est-elle Moribonde? Par Stanley Lucas

"Je dedie l'article suivant a mes amis Jacques Roche assassine le 10 Juillet 2005 et Wanel fils decede le 12 Janvier"


Quel est le role de la presse Haitienne en 2010? Dans quel contexte evolue-t-elle? Quel est son role dans l’organisation d’elections libres, honnetes et democratiques? Quel est le role de la presse Haitienne dans l’analyse du profil et comportement de ceux qui organisent des elections en Haiti? Quel est le role de la presse Haitienne dans l’analyse des candidatures a la presidence, au senat et a la chambre des deputes? La Presse Haitienne est-elle devenue moribonde?


Depuis les années 1820, avec Felix Darfour la presse independante Haitienne joue un role majeur dans notre quete de democratie et de developpement economique. Dans les annees 70 avec Gasner Raymond le Petit Samedi Soir etait le porte drapeau de la democratie. Des journalistes de l’hebdomadaire sous la direction de Pierre Clitandre, prenaient des risques enormes pour enqueteR et publier des dossiers sur la corruption, l’etat du pays et la democratie. Comment oublier par la suite, le journal Enquetes d’Ady Jean Gardy et qui apporta au pays un immense espoir democratique à partir de 1986? Au debut des annees 90 ce fut l’emergence de la presse militante, elle contribuera a la defaite des militaires et a l’election de Jean Bertrand Aristide. Ce fut cette meme presse qui fera face a Aristide lorsqu’il prit la route de la repression et de la corruption.


Depuis le retour de Rene Preval au pouvoir en 2006 la presse Haitienne affronte cinq grandes difficultes:


La premiere difficulte est la nouvelle tactique du pouvoir pour faire de la presse une prolongation du pouvoir d’Etat selon la vision fascite de Mussolini et de Staline. Ceci entraina le sabotage du travail des medias et journalistes independants avec le support de ses creatures qui formeront a sa demande une commission-bidon de journaleux pour noyer le poisson des assassinats commis sous son premier mandat et celui de son marassa Aristide. L’objectif de Preval etait d’empecher l’identification des auteurs intellectuels, des organisateurs de ces assassinats et de mener des dilatoires sans punir personnes. Cette commission formee de politiciens-journalistes, sortis de sa chambre à coucher, recevra des millions de la presidence pour faire “ce travail” de scélérats, sans duper personne non plus. Preval profita de l’occasion pour acheter d’autres journalistes qui avaient grand gout et les mettre a son service. Ils offrirent a Preval ce qu’il attendait: ignorer les auteurs intellectuels et organisateurs de l’assassinat de Brignol Lindor et de Jean Dominique alors que des petits excutants furent punis a l'aide d'une justice expeditive qui ne posait pas de question. Les assassins du journaliste independant Jacques Roche furent tout aussi bien ignorés dans ce processus ou les journalistes de Preval etaient a la fois enqueteurs, policiers, commissaire du gouvernement, juge et porte parole.


Preval qui n’a jamais aimé les journalistes fit fermer le Ministere de l’Information, le remplacant par un Ministere de la Culture (musiques, theatre, comedies, vulgaires propagandes de marchands de betises etc ) pour gerer entre autres ses soufreteux des médias d’Etat, dont la plupart se firent inscrire au Parti Unité (connu sous le sobriquet INIQUITE). Plusieurs de ces soi-disant journalistes recrutes par le parti INIQUITE se presenteront comme candidats de l’Inite aux elections legislatives de Fevrier 2010. A cause du tremblement de terre du 12 Janvier ces elections n’ont pas eu lieu et ils se preparent maintenant à recevoir leurs sieges de parlementaires couillons dans le cadre du coup d'etat electoral prepare par le CEP de Gaillot Dorsainvil.


La seconde tactique utilisee était de jeter le discredit sur les medias qui ne repetaient pas leur propagande. Radio Kiskeya a ete leur cible pendant un moment et a su resister. Radio Signal a prefere reculer un peu avant de repartir au combat. Apres l’echec de l’application de la politique de la carotte pourrie (corruption) aupres de certains journalistes qui persistaient a rester independants le pouvoir changeait de tactique et passa aux menaces d’elimination physique et la violence. C’est ce qui est arrive dans le cas d’Euvrard Saint Amand, le journaliste qui animait l’emission Intersection sur radio Caraibe qui a du laisser le pays et vivre en exil. Les journalistes Corvington de radio Galaxie et Carlasse de radio RCH 2000 vivent les menaces chaque jour.


La troisieme tactique a été de prendre en main adroitement l’Association Nationale des Proprietaires de Medias (ANMH) avec de nouveaux dirigeants qui defendent le pouvoir a tous les coups, meme quand des directeurs de medias sont la cible d’assassins tels le Directeur de Radio Caraibe (Moussignac) qui a failli etre assassiné et que le President de l’ANMH envoya sur les épines en affirmant qu’il avait subi un attentat non en sa qualite de Directeur de Media mais en sa qualite d’entrepreneur. Pourtant quand un autre directeur de radio de la capitale a failli etre kidnapé le traitement de l'affaire par l'ANMH a ete different. Pourquoi 2 poids deux mesures ? Parce que Moussignac ne fait pas partie du Groupe de Bourdon (secteur economique rapace au service du pouvoir)? Ne faudrait-il pas interviewer un journaliste independant comme Pierre Manigat pour comprendre?


L’ANMH n’est plus pour pour l’independance de la presse. Elle est formée de deux groupes: un secteur proche de Preval, desabillé completement devant lui. Un autre qui comprend des membres ou proches du Groupe de Bourdon. Le Groupe de Bourdon est un cartel corrompu des affaires qui detient l’ensemble des monopoles d’Haiti et controle les secteurs financier et bancaire grace a leur proximite du pouvoir. Les proches de Preval on une influence sur qui devient redacteur en chef des salles des nouvelles et les reportages qui arrivent au micro. Ils ont fait balayer une grande partie des journalistes independants. Le Groupe de Bourdon a deux impacts sur ces medias. Le premier c’est que la plupart des proprietaires de medias au sein de l’ANMH pretent de l’argent de la grande banque INITE BANK qui appartient au Groupe de Bourdon. Ces prets deviennent un levier de pression sur la salle des nouvelles. En plus le groupe de bourdon a travers la publicite fait pression sur les medias et souvent joue une role determinant sur les histoires a couvrir, les invites a ignorer ou a inviter. Nombreux sont les journalistes qui ne seraient pas au chomage aujourd’hui s’ils avaient acceptes de se laisser remplir la gorge de ces carottes pourries et s’ils avaient mis leurs personnalités dans leurs chaussettes.


La quatrieme tactique est venue de la MINUSTAH avec les gros moyens disponibles a recrute un bon nombre de journalistes Haitiens faire fonctionner leur radio et leur section communications sour la direction de quelques etrangers. L’objectif est de contrer la presse locale et avancer leur agenda d’occupants. Dans le cadre de cette propagande politique les moyens sont aussi utilises pour “la formation” et donner de “l’assistance” aux journalistes Haitiens qui travaillent dans les medias indepedants. En suivant la radio des Nations Unies en Haiti on se rendra compte que depuis quelques mois les leaders Haitiens qui critiquent la mission ne font plus partie de leur programmation. Ils sont en train de “faire repeter” a la presse Haitienne ce qu’ils veulent leur faire repeter : elections, elections , elections magouilles ou non, en passant du beurre sur le candidat de Preval,  Jude Celestin.


Enfin la cinquieme tactique est l’utilisation de mercenaires de la presse internationale comme aux temps de Baby Doc, dont 4 « journalustres » dans des quotidiens americains deux journalistes Haitiano-americains en Floride, un a New York et un autre a Washington. Ces journalustes sont payes jouent un role de lobbystes informels. Leurs analyses en general sont des histoires preparees ou proposees par les conseillers de Rene Preval et du Groupe de Bourdon. Leur role comme journalustres payes et aux ordres de Preval est de faire avancer a travers des publications l’agenda de Preval et du groupe de bourdon. Ils ne font que lustrer la vitrine. Leurs informations tronquées publiees a partir de l’etranger sont ensuite relayees par les journalistes de Preval et du Groupe de Bourdon en Haiti.


Les journalistes independants en Haiti sont seuls dans cette jungle, a part quelques fois des rapports de solidarite venant de Medecins Sans Frontieres (RSF), de la Commission Interamericaine des Droits Humains quand ils sont menaces et de la Federation de la Presse Haitienne (FPH) qui documentent ce qui se passe jour apres jour et travaillent efficacement avec des organisations sœurs contre le desordre interne sans faire sonner les trompettes .


Avec cette situation, il est difficile aux journalistes independants, noyés dans la melee, d’ expliquer a la population de facon plus approfondie pourquoi les membres du Conseil Electoral Provisoire corrompue et des BEC sont des domestiques partisans du regime qui prevaut avec Preval. Les journalistes independants dans les salles de nouvelles sont sous pressions des directeurs des salles des nouvelles qui eux recoivent des pression des president proprietaires. C’est ce qui explique l’absence d’analyse sur seize candidats qui legalement auraient du etres disqualifies.


Tout le monde a peur et Ils sont rares les journalistes militants qui continuent de resister. Ces journalistes Haitiens sont des heros. Ce sont pour la plupart des jeunes qui pour un salaire derisoire prennent de grands risques dans ce metier honorable. Ils sont des fois battus, maltraites et exiles quand on n’a pas le temps de les tuer.


Le journaliste Haitien doit seul faire face a la violence politique du pouvoir et la violence economique du Groupe de Bourdon. Etre journaliste en Haiti est diffcile, c’est un métier ingrat. Je dois presenter ma medaille d’honneur aux journalistes Daly Valet, Jean Monard, Clarens Renoua, Lesly Jacques, Rotchild Francois Junior, Herold Emmanuel, Euvrard Saint Amand, Metellus, Pierre Manigat, Ady Jean Gardy, Lilliane Pierre Paul, Franck Charlot, Freo Lamonge, Charles Harrison Ernest, Lavaud Fevry, Saint Juste, Hebda Abdallah, Dieudonne Federme, Michel Soukar, Robert Benodin, Harry Joseph, Yves Clausel Alexis, Paul Ignace Janvier, Vasthie Desir, Luko Jasmin, Alex Saint Surin les autres noms que j'ai oublie. Ici en Haiti ou en exil, ils continuent de se battre et que Preval le veuille ou non leur lumiere si vivante et si forte vaincra un jour les tenebres que son regime de mort a jeté sur le pays…

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Haiti Earthquake: Seven months and counting …by Stanley Lucas

The shock and outrage at the lack of progress in Haiti seven months after the tragic earthquake that killed almost 300,000 people has unfortunately not translated into an uptick in action on the ground.  Still 2 million people sleeping in the streets, and there is no comprehensive plan to address this critical housing issue.  There have been increased efforts to get new tents and more regularly provide food, but today is no seven months.  Shouldn’t we have moved to the longer term planning by this point?  Where is all the money?  After all the attention to the fact that only 10% of the promised aid money being delivered, there is no progress is collecting those funds?  Where did the US$1.1 billion in private donation from the US go?


Some Presidential candidates took advantage of the press bounce from the six month coverage to announce their candidacy, but little coverage has been given to anyone other than Wyclef Jean.  The type of worldwide press coverage that his candidacy received does not come cheap; it is the big powerhouse public relations firms that can pull off that type of a media blitz.  There are at least three other Haitian Diaspora candidates that have announced and they do not have personal and professional misconduct.  Has anyone heard of them? 


Furthermore, Haitians are beginning to raise questions about whether or not humanitarian aid is quietly being used to promote the candidacy of one person over another.  Haiti has real issues to tackle, and there is a critical lack of coordination and big thinking to address those problems.


The biggest short term challenge is, of course, housing.  More than 500,000 people lost their homes in the earthquake.  Without their house, they are not only consigned to living in one of the 1,350 makeshift tent cities, but they have now lost any access to credit.  It is impossible to imagine how these people will ever pull themselves up out of this situation when there is absolutely no opportunity for them. 


Rather than continuing along with this patchwork of aid programs, the most beneficial path forward would be to establish a Haitian Housing Authority.  The Authority could essentially operate as a public private partnership with the participation of the World Bank, IADB, international governments, and even other NGOs that have received so much of the aid money.  This money would be a fund that Haitians who lost their homes could apply for low interest loans to build new houses, or essentially 30 year fixed mortgages at low interest.  This accomplishes many goals:  kick starts the economy because people now have access to credit and there will be construction projects; gets the money directly to the people who need it; and eliminates the challenges with working with a corrupt Haitian government.  A good system could be set up to vet applicants to ensure that the money is going to the victims of the earthquake.  There is even the possibility that there could be a return on investment here and that those funds could be used to do other key projects in Haiti on infrastructure and addressing healthcare and education.  In other words, this would be sustainable development.


What we can be certain about is that the current approach in Haiti is woefully inadequate and is in no way sustainable. And rather than address any of this, it seems the focus is now shifting toward elections which the country is not ready for and has the very real possibility of plunging Haiti into further chaos. 


Haitians do not want to be idling away their days in abysmal camps and model villages.  They need work.  They need hope.  And they need a vision for the future.  Right now, there are working toward nothing, abandoned and forgotten as NGOs toil away to address the critical issues in an ad hoc way. 

Six Months Later - August 2010 by

The earthquake of January 12, 2010 caused unprecedented destruction of human and physical capital, with losses estimated at 120 percent of Haiti’s 2009 GNP. Without support from the relief agencies, particularly those of the international community , the situation would be worse.

During the first few months, the support of the international community on the ground was visible. Six months later, the massive distribution networks, field hospitals and mobile clinics, set up primarily by the international community, have disappeared. The population is still living in makeshift camps. Living conditions under the tents are extremely difficult and they do not meet international standards for humanitarian relief. Now, many citizens are experiencing forced evictions particularly from camps located on private land, which have resulted in an increase in the number of Internally Displace persons (IDPs) in public squares and streets of the capital and other cities and towns significantly affected by the earthquake.

Meanwhile, reports from International humanitarian relief organizations suggest that they have donated 1.1 Billion US dollars to Haiti to date.

Since March 2010, the Haiti Aid Watchdog (hereinafter referred to as the “Watchdog”) has monitored and evaluated the type, quality and frequency of the aid provided. Whether the $1.1 billion donated by citizens from around the world has had a significant impact on the Haitian IDP’s remains the essential question for the Watchdog. Further, whether the Haitian Government has significantly developed its capacity during the last 6 months to oversee this relief effort is a major concern as well.

According to RNDDH report, Eight (8) properties totaling one hundred fifty (150) acres of land have been requisitioned by the Haitian State to relocate the victims. To date, five thousand (5,000) persons representing approximately 3.8% of IDPs have been relocated to the site of Coral Cesselesse . The majority of the Internal Displace Persons lack food, medical assistance, and sanitation. The lack of electricity on the camps at night provides cover for a substantial increased of sexual abuse. In addition, the threat of two dozen hurricanes scheduled for the summer is making the situation very complicated.

The Inter-Agency Standing Committee in its report six months after the earthquake mentioned that 11,000 latrines have been distributed and 1 million people have benefited from Cash- for – Work programs However, specific details are lacking regarding where these distributions were made and which portion of the population benefited from this assistance.


In its March 2010 report, the watchdog presented a list of international relief organizations who at that time had still not presented a report, some 60 days after the earthquake. Looking back, over the last six months, the watchdog has become very concerned with the lack of transparency that most international organizations have shown.

The Monitoring Process

The assessment conducted in July 2010 also involved the review of reviewed 10 websites of international organizations that have collected more than 10 millions dollar for Haiti. The assessment focused on the availability and accessibility of accomplishment reports provided by the relief agencies. [In addition to consulting Websites, theWatchdog visited several camps in and outside of Port au Prince.

In May 2010, The Chronicle Philantrophy published an updated list1 of 55 international organizations that received money for Haiti. Out of this list of 55 organizations organizations, the Watchdog focused on 18 organizations that collected more than 10 million dollars of relief funds for Haiti.

List of 18 Organizations that raised more than 10 million dollars in relief funds for Haiti

1• American Red Cross had raised approximately $444-million as of May 6, including $6-million from the Hope for Haiti telethon. More than $32-million was pledged to the Red Cross via text message.

2• AmeriCares had raised more than $15-million as of May 10.

3.• CARE USA had raised approximately $17.75-million as of May 7.

4• Catholic Relief Services had raised $135.7-million as of May 10.

5 The Clinton Bush Haiti Fund had raised more than $37-million as of March 16.

6• The William J. Clinton Foundation had received more than $14.5-million as of March 16.

7• The Doctors Without Borders U.S. operations had raised $61.1-million international affiliates have raised $124-million.

8• Habitat for Humanity had raised $11.5-million as of May 10.

9• Mercy Corps had received $14.6-million as of May 7.

10• Operation USA had raised $1.4 in cash as of May 7. It has also received $5.7-million in donations of products.

11• Oxfam America had received $23.2-million as of May 10, $8-million of which came from

the Hope for Haiti Now telethon. Internationally, Oxfam has raised more than $100-million.

12• Partners in Health had received more than $70-million as of May 11, including $8-million

13• Plan USA had raised more than $2-million as of May 10. The group’s international affiliates had

raised $32.6-million.

14• The Salvation Army had raised $20.5-million as of May 10

15• Save the Children USA had raised more than $25-million as of May 10.

As of March, the organization’s international affiliates had raised an additional $35.1-million

16• The United Methodist Committee on Relief had raised $14.5-million as of March 11

from the Hope for Haiti Now telethon

17• World Vision’s U.S. operations had received more than $41-million as of May 7.

Internationally, the organization has raised more than $103-million.
18• Yele Haiti Foundation has received more than $16-million, which includes $1-million

from the Hope for Haiti Now telethon, as of May 11.
Source Chronicle of Philantropy

Out of the 18 organizations identified that had received relief funds for Haiti of 10 million dollars or more, the Watchdog reviewed 10 of these organizations’ websites , which revealed that the 10 organizations received the following relief funding for Haiti:

Catholic Relief Services- $135 million
Partner in Health- $ 70 million
Save the Children- $71.4 million
Doctors without Borders- $61 million
World Vision- $41 million
Oxfam America -$23. 2 million
Salvation Army- $20 million
Americares- 15 million
Mercy Corps- $14.6 million
Habitat for Humanity -$11.5 million

The Watchdog found that the websites provided very limited information concerning the funding that theses organizations had received and what was done with such resources. In other words, key information concerning , the number sites, number of people served by sites, the cost related to each by sites serviced is not available. Indeed, the Information that is available is incomplete and lacks sufficient detail thus rendering those reports almost useless to a stakeholder.

The Watchdog applauds Partner in Health, the Jewish Committee Distribution, Doctor Without Borders, Handicap international and Mercy Corps for providing detail financial and programmatic reports. The majority of international NGOs do not provide detail information which substantially limit the monitoring of the impact of international relief effort in Haiti.
However, the Watchdog is concerned regarding the lack of transparency and incoherence that is reflected in the reports submitted six months after the earthquake by various international organizations. The majority of the 18 organizations closely monitored by the Watchdog do not mention how much money was spent per type of activity and do not mention the geographical areas assisted. Moreover, the information provided in these organizations’ reports (six months after the earthquake) are not consistent with the findings on the ground. For example, some organizations claim that they have spent maillion so dollars on shelter for the IDPs. However, the watchdog has not been able to confirm the shelters to which the reports refer, and certainly not 19 million dollars worth of shelter anywhere in Port-au-Prince or other areas that have been mostly affected by the earthquake.

The watchdog has been informed that an estimated 125,000 transitional shelters are expected to be distributed and implanted in Haiti. However, to date, we do not know when these shelters will be provided or where they will be distributed. Indeed, the National Oceanic and Atmosphere Administration (NOAA) has predicted that Haiti should expect a very active hurricane season this summer. However, with the slow pace of the distribution of this transitional shelter, the Watchdog is very concerned that lives may be lost or put in peril when hurricanes arrive and touch the areas where the camps are located, as said camps will inevitably become flooded.

The Watchdog encourages the Government of Haiti to play a more active role overseeing the impact of the assistance. Six months after the earthquake, there is a substantial coordination deficit of leadership from humanitarian community and the Government of Haiti. There is a need for all stakeholders to engage in a constructive dialogue.

The Watchdog has, on its own initiative, engaged the government through the government’s Ministry of Plan in order to explore ways that civil society organizations such as the Watchdog could play a more significant role in the monitoring and coordination of the humanitarian effort. Through our meetings with officials of the Ministry of Plan, we learned that several international NGOs operating in the country have not provided any report to the Ministry of Plan. Some humanitarian organizations have not officially registered with the Ministry and are not respecting the procedures although the Ministry has organized several meetings and briefing sessions to the international partners.

The international NGOs working on relief and reconstruction in Haiti must provide detailed information on:
Allocation of funds by activities and locations
List all local partners and their accomplishments
Number of beneficiaries targeted and reached
Lessons learned and obstacles on the ground
Corrective actions to address deficiencies in each area.

b) Inform the general public of locations of operations and the type of services offered in a specific area (s) or in the sites with more than 5,000 people. It would be very helpful for the public to see, in the following major sites, items such as stickers, flags, banners and billboards of the international partners working in the particular site: Terrain de Accra, Champ de mars, St Louis de Gonzague, both terrain de golf, turgeau, Canape vert, Place St Pierre, Place de la Paix, Impasse Morond, Centre de Carrefour, Terrain de Amurtel, Ancien aéroport militaire…

c) The Watchdog Group encourages the international partners to organize periodic briefing sessions with civil society organizations and government officials. If information is provided to the Haitian media and other civil society organizations, it would help the public understands better what is being developed and how it is being distributed and accounted for. 7 months after the earthquake, it is time for the people of Haiti to be informed about which organizations are working on the ground?; where are they working?; and what are they doing?; How many Haitians are being hired by the international organizations? What impact the programs have in the IDP camps .What are these organizations’ plans during the hurricane season as it relates to assistance to the IDP camps? It may be helpful if a map could be distributed to all civil society organizations and to the press identifying which organizations are working in specific areas of the country.




MAY 11, 2010

1• ActionAid has raised more than $419,000 as of March 2.
•2 Action Against Hunger International has raised more than $7-million globally as of May 10.
• 3Adventist Development and Relief Agency had raised $6.9-million as of May 11.
4• The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee had raised more than $6.1-million as of March 16.
5• American Jewish World Service had raised more than $5.7-million as of May 10 for its
Haiti Earthquake Relief Fund.

6• American Red Cross had raised approximately $444-million.
7• AmeriCares had raised more than $15-million as of May 10.
8• Brother’s Brother Foundation had raised $725,000, and secured a pledge of $100,000, as of May 10.
9• CARE USA had raised approximately $17.75-million as of May 7.
10• Catholic Medical Mission Board had raised $1.92-million in cash
11• Catholic Relief Services had raised $135.7-million as of May 10.
12• ChildFund International had raised $450,767 as of February 16.
13• Church World Service had raised $3.2-million as of May 10.
•14 The Clinton Bush Haiti Fund had raised more than $37-million as of March 16.
15• The William J. Clinton Foundation had received more than $14.5-million
16• Concern Worldwide US had raised $3.2-million as of May 10.
17• Cross International had raised $4.6-million as of March 16.
18• Direct Relief International had raised $6.1-million in cash through the end of April.
18• The Doctors Without Borders U.S. operations had raised $61.1-million
20• Feed the Children had raised $1-million as of May 7.
21• Fonkoze USA had raised $1.26-million as of May 10.
22• Friends of the World Food Program had raised $13.1-million, including $6-million fMay 10.
23• Habitat for Humanity had raised $11.5-million as of May 10.
24• Handicap International’s U.S. operations had raised $431,000 as of May 10.
25• Heifer International had raised $1.4-million as of May 10.
26• The Humane Society has raised more than $1-million.
27• IMA World Health has raised more than $291,000 as of May 7.
28• International Medical Corps had raised more than $6-million as of May 7.
29• International Relief and Development has raised $345,000 in cash as of May 11. It has also
received $12.5-million in gifts of products and supplies.
30• The International Rescue Committee had raised $6.6-million as of May 10.
31• Internews Network, a nonprofit group that promotes journalism abroad, received $200,000 from
the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.
32• Islamic Relief USA had raised more than $2.1-million as of March 2.
33• The Lions Clubs International Foundation had raised $4.7-million as of May 13.
34• Lutheran World Relief had raised nearly $6.5-million as of May 7.
35• Medical Teams International had raised $4.5-million as of May 10.
36• Mennonite Central Committee had raised $5.18-million and raised another $8.1-million in Canada.
37• Mercy Corps had received $14.6-million as of May 7.
38• Operation USA had raised $1.4 in cash as of May 7. It has also received $5.7-million in donations of products.
39• Oxfam America had received $23.2-million as of May 10, $8-million of which came from the
Hope for Haiti Now telethon. Internationally, Oxfam has raised more than $100-million.
40• The Pan American Development Foundation had raised more than $1.61-million as of February 23.
41• Partners in Health had received more than $70-million as of May 11, including $8-million
from the Hope for Haiti Now telethon.
42• Plan USA had raised more than $2-million as of May 10. The group’s international affiliates
had raised $32.6-million.
43• Population Services International had raised more than $174,000 as of May 10.
44• Project HOPE had raised $1.7-million in cash and pledges as of May 10. It has
distributed $35-million in medical supplies.
45• Relief International had raised more than $533,000 as of May 10.
46• The Salvation Army had raised $20.5-million as of May 10.
47• Save the Children USA had raised more than $25-million as of May 10. As of March, the
organization’s international affiliates had raised an additional $35.1-million.
48• The U.N. Foundation had raised more than $3.9-million as of May 11.
49• The Unitarian Universalist Service Committee had raised more than $1.84-million .
50• United Way has raised more than $3.2-million as of May 13.
51• The United Methodist Committee on Relief had raised $14.5-million as of March 11.
52• The University of Miami had received $4.4-million as of March 2.
53• The U.S. Fund for Unicef had received $65.4-million in cash.
54• World Vision’s U.S. operations had received more than $41-million as of May 7. Internationally,
the organization has raised more than $103-million.
55• Yele Haiti Foundation has received more than $16-million, which includes $1-million from
the Hope for Haiti Now telethon, as of May 11.



Friday, August 6, 2010

Will the US Act to Promote Free and Fair Elections in Haiti? by Stanley Lucas

At this most critical moment for Haiti, we must secure strong leadership for the country through free and fair elections.  All legitimate political parties – those that have registered and those that are boycotting – are joined by all actors of Haitian civil society, the Haitian Diaspora and the Haitian people in their commitment to seeing democratic elections.   However, there is a significant chance the elections will be undermined, manipulated and rigged.  The Obama Administration and the US Congress can play a critical role in supporting the Haitian people’s quest for legitimately elected new leadership.


Many challenges face the Haitian elections:  out of date voter list, lost voter cards, decimation of polling stations, an unstable security situation, and an entrenched leadership focused on retaining power at any cost.  Compounding these dynamics is a corrupt, discredited electoral authority, the Haitian Provisional Electoral Council (CEP).  The Haitian legislature has called for a reorganization of the CEP as have several international organizations and members of the US Congress.  The current nine members of the CEP are corrupt, partisan and lack the confidence of the people to organize a democratic election for the following reasons:

  • First, they rigged the senatorial elections in 2009 by manipulating and changing the results in favor of President Rene Preval’s Inite party.


  • Second, Haiti’s General Accounting Office found that the members of the council have stolen state and international aid funds allocated for elections.


  • Third, the members of the CEP have allowed individuals involved in drug trafficking, human rights violations and corruption to register as candidates for the next elections.  According to Haiti’s electoral law, anyone involved in drug trafficking, violated human rights or were found to be corrupt by the anti-corruption unit, you are not qualified to sit as a candidate for Congress, Senate or the Presidency.


Despite the calls of Haitian society and a report issued by Senator Richard Lugar (entitled “Without Reform, No Return on Investment in Haiti” issued on July 24, 2010) advocating reform of the CEP, President Preval has steadfastly resisted undertaking the necessary reforms citing this as a “domestic issue”.  By all accounts on the ground in Haiti, he and his allies are planning an electoral coup to steal the election for his Inite party.


If they succeed, there can be no doubt that Haiti will descend into political chaos and the current leadership vacuum will become a black hole.  At the source of every political crisis of Haiti since 1995 is a rigged and manipulated election.  The people of Haiti know and understand the Electoral Law and overwhelmingly support and expect democratic elections.  Elections are a “vent” for all the frustration and hardship that the Haitian people face and therefore trigger a serious and swift response.  Haiti cannot afford a political crisis on top of the earthquake crisis.


The United States can play a major role to ensure that the next elections are free and fair.  The US Government will provide 90% of the $44 million needed to organize the elections.  The US can ill afford to waste taxpayers money on a sham elections.  And, you will find no one outside Preval’s Inite party who believes the elections will be otherwise under this set of circumstances.


Therefore, Haitian political parties, civil society groups, and all Haitian Diaspora organizations call upon the US Government to withhold financial assistance for the upcoming elections until the CEP is reorganized.  Article 289 of the Haitian Constitution provides the legal basis for reorganization and the parameters for the organization of a legitimate electoral council.  


Furthermore, there is historical precedence that placing conditions on the electoral assistance is an effective way of ensuring the integrity of the elections.  In the past 20 years, Haiti has held only two free and fair elections of the 12 that have been organized:  December 1990 and November 2006.  In both of these elections, the US Government defined a set of benchmarks and conditions before electoral assistance would be released, including stipulating a non-partisan electoral commission.


There are 2.1 million Haitians sleeping in the streets and hunkering down for what is shaping up to be the most devastating hurricane season in decades.  Haiti has not even begun to dig out of the earthquake rubble.  Everyone knows that strong leadership is needed urgently to meet this challenge head on.  But everyone also knows that conditions for such leadership to emerge do not exist, and that the US Government has the leverage to ensure the needed changes are made.   We hope that the US Government stands with us in our quest to finally put Haiti on the right path.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Donors Eliminate Haiti’s Debt to International Financial Institutions

U.S. Department of Treasury: United States, Other Donors Eliminate Haiti’s Debt to International Financial Institutions

Achievement of Debt Relief by International Partners Among Swiftest in History

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of the Treasury today announced that the United States, the International Financial Institutions (IFIs), and other donors have together reached the goal of eliminating the total debt stock that Haiti owed to the IFIs at the time of the January earthquake. Today's announcement comes just six months after Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner stated his intention to work closely with partners around the world to relieve Haiti's debt. This achievement is among the fastest complete IFI debt reductions in history.

"With President Obama's signing of the FY 10 Supplemental Appropriations Act, Haiti can take another important step forward on the path to rebuilding," said Secretary Geithner. "We are proud to stand together with our international partners at the forefront of this decisive response."

Treasury also noted the key support of the U.S. Congress, which passed the FY 10 Supplemental Appropriations Act, providing the Administration with a contribution of up to $248 million towards an international agreement to cancel Haiti's debt at the multilateral development institutions. In addition, Secretary Geithner praised the multilateral development institutions for structuring debt relief in a manner that would unlock $318 million in grant funding for Haiti.

"This innovative proposal not only achieved full cancellation of debt, but also increased resources available for Haiti's recovery over the near and long term," Secretary Geithner continued. The additional funding can be used to support Haiti's recovery by financing such activities as the building of schools, restoration of basic services, and boosting of agriculture and employment programs.

In particular, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), as part of the debt relief agreement, will make available $295 million in new grant flows to Haiti. Similarly, the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) will convert $23 million in loans to grants.

For its part, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) took the unprecedented step of creating a new facility, the Post-Catastrophe Debt Reduction (PCDR) Trust, to join international debt relief efforts for Haiti as well as to help very poor countries hit by catastrophic natural disasters in the future. The IMF fully financed the PCDR Trust using internal IMF resources.

When the earthquake struck, Haiti owed $447 million to the IDB, $51 million to IFAD, $39 million to the International Development Association (IDA), and $158 million to the IMF. On April 23, IFAD's executive directors approved a 100 percent debt relief package for Haiti.[1] On May 28, the World Bank announced the cancellation of Haiti's IDA debt.[2] On July 21, the IMF cancelled Haiti's $268 million in outstanding debt to the IMF, including the $110 million emergency loan approved immediately after the earthquake.[3] With the U.S. contribution to the IDB, the Treasury-led effort to eliminate the entirety of Haiti's pre-earthquake debt obligations to the IFIs will be fully achieved.


IFAD Executive Board approves debt relief for Haiti

Agreement sets up US$50 million debt relief programme for outstanding debt

Rome, 23 April 2010 – Things are looking up for the people of Haiti with the Executive Board of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) approving a debt-relief package for the disaster-stricken nation in its meeting this week.

“The agreement provides the basis for permanent debt forgiveness of Haiti’s debt burden to our organization,” said Kanayo F. Nwanze, IFAD President. “Without this type of relief, Haiti would have been hard pressed to repay its outstanding loans to the organization, to the detriment of the critical reconstruction and development activities. With the generous contributions from our members – plus a significant investment on our part – we are breaking that cycle.”

The net present value of Haiti’s debt to IFAD is US$50.7 million. Under the agreement, IFAD ― an international financial institution and a specialized United Nations agency dedicated to eradicating poverty and hunger in rural areas of developing countries ― will contribute up to 30 per cent of the debt relief requirement, with member states needing to contribute the remaining 70 per cent.

“A small portion of Haiti’s debt was already forgiven by organizations like IFAD under the Highly Indebted Poor Countries Debt Initiative, but the bulk remained,” said Josefina Stubbs, Director of IFAD’s Latin America and the Caribbean Division. “By relieving the country of this burden, we are freeing up funds for redevelopment and reconstruction.”

The process of reconstruction and development in Haiti has already begun. IFAD responded rapidly to the January earthquake with a $2.5 million grant for irrigation and watershed rehabilitation in a project that is expected to benefit some 12,000 households in rural areas directly affected by the earthquake.

Press release No.: IFAD/29/2010

World Bank Announces Total Cancellation of Haiti’s Debt

Available in: العربية, Español, Français
Press Release No:2010/439/LCR/CFP


In Washington: Sergio Jellinek (202) 458-2841

Angela Furtado (202) 473-1909

WASHINGTON, May 28, 2010 -- The World Bank today announced that the remaining US$36 million of debt owed by Haiti to the International Development Association (IDA), the Bank’s fund for the poorest countries, has been cancelled. Haiti now has no further amounts payable to the World Bank.

“Relieving Haiti’s remaining debt is part of our effort to pursue every avenue to help Haiti’s reconstruction efforts,” said World Bank Group President Robert B. Zoellick. “We will continue to work in close cooperation with the Haitian government and our international partners to support the country’s recovery and longer-term development.”

This cancellation by the World Bank of Haiti’s debt to IDA was made possible by contributions from Belgium, Canada, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, The Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.

Since the earthquake that struck Haiti in January this year, the World Bank has made available US$479 million in grants to support Haiti’s recovery and development through June 2011. It is also the trustee as well as a partner working to support Haiti’s reconstruction and development through the multi-donor Haiti Reconstruction Fund, to which Brazil became the first country to contribute earlier this month.

In July 2009, Haiti won $1.2 billion in debt relief from the World Bank, International Monetary Fund and other creditors.


IMF Executive Board Cancels Haiti’s Debt and Approves New Three-Year Program to Support Reconstruction and Economic Growth

Press Release No. 10/299
July 21, 2010

The Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) today approved the full cancellation of Haiti’s outstanding liabilities to the Fund, of about SDR 178 million (equivalent to US$268 million). The Board also approved a new three-year arrangement for Haiti under the Extended Credit Facility (ECF) requested by the authorities to support the country’s reconstruction and growth program.

Both decisions form part of a broad strategy to support Haiti’s longer term reconstruction plans, following the devastating earthquake of January 12, 2010. The cancellation of existing debt was advocated by IMF Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn in the days following the disaster as part of a concerted international effort to launch a “Marshall Plan” for the reconstruction of the country. The new program provides a strong and forward-looking framework to support economic stability and reconstruction in the country, and will also help catalyze donors’ contributions.

“Donors must start delivering on their promises to Haiti quickly,” Mr. Strauss-Kahn said, “so reconstruction can be accelerated, living standards quickly improved, and social tensions soothed.” At a high-level donors' conference in March, the international community pledged US$ 9.9 billion to Haiti’s reconstruction, of which US$ 5.3 billion is to be disbursed over the next 18 months.

Resources freed by IMF debt relief will help Haiti to meet substantial balance-of-payments needs exacerbated by the earthquake. The debt relief is financed by the Post-Catastrophe Debt Relief (PCDR) Trust Fund, recently established by the Fund to help very poor countries hit by catastrophic natural disasters (see attached factsheet).

The new ECF arrangement will provide SDR 40.9 million (about US$ 60 million) over three years to boost Haiti’s international reserves and help the central bank manage potential swings in the value of the local currency - important to avoid raises in the prices of basic commodities consumed by the poor - without adding to the country’s net debt. Financing under the ECF carries a zero interest rate until end-2011 and thereafter zero to 0.5 percent, with a maturity of 10 years and a grace period of 5½ years. The temporary interest waiver is part of the package that was approved in July 2009 to support the IMF’s lending to low-income countries, financed from the IMF’s internal resources, including the use of resources linked to the gold sales, and through bilateral contributions (see Factsheet “Financing the Fund’s Concessional Lending to Low-Income Countries”). The new program also includes important policy commitments from the authorities that will help protect macroeconomic stability, and strengthen fiscal governance.

“The new program will provide a coherent macroeconomic framework to support the implementation of our Action Plan and ensure efficient spending and absorption of aid inflows,” Haiti’s Minister of Economy and Finance Ronald Baudin said.

Technical Assistance

The IMF will also provide a comprehensive medium-term technical assistance program aimed at strengthening state institutions, concentrating in the areas of tax policies, revenue administration, budget preparation and execution, and helping the country in organizing its first ever issuance of government securities.

“Improving the business environment and fostering private credit and investment will be essential to support growth,” Charles Castel, Governor of the Bank of the Republic of Haiti said. “The Fund’s technical assistance will help rebuild economic institutions and build capacity.”

Following the Executive Board discussion on Haiti, Mr. Naoyuki Shinohara Deputy Managing Director and Acting Chair, issued the following statement:

“The January 2010 earthquake was devastating for Haiti, after several years of progress in maintaining economic stability, resuming growth, and implementing essential reforms. The authorities are to be commended for good policy implementation in the six-month period since the earthquake, in spite of limited financial resources and weakened capacity.

“Haiti meets the eligibility and qualification conditions for debt stock relief under the PCDR Trust Fund. Resources freed by debt stock relief under the PCDR Trust Fund are critical to meeting the large and protracted balance-of-payments needs exacerbated by the earthquake and subsequent recovery efforts, and to placing Haiti's debt on a sustainable path. Debt relief from the Fund is part of a concerted international effort to cancel Haiti's remaining debt after the earthquake.

“The newly approved ECF-supported arrangement provides a coherent macroeconomic framework to support the authorities' reconstruction and growth objectives. The macroeconomic outlook, and implementation of the authorities' reconstruction plan, depends crucially on the timely disbursement of the large donor pledges. Furthermore, improvements in infrastructure and the business environment will be essential to raise medium-term growth, by attracting private investment and expanding the export base. The establishment of a partial credit guarantee fund will help restart private sector credit

“The Fund-supported program aims at smoothing the impact on the economy of large expected aid flows, projected to triple to about 15 percent of GDP over in the next 3 years. Fiscal objectives are to raise domestic revenue, align the budget and its financing with reconstruction priorities, and continue strengthening fiscal governance. Monetary and exchange rate policies will be upgraded to facilitate the absorption of aid inflows, while avoiding large swings in the exchange rate and keeping inflation under control The program is supported by a comprehensive medium term technical assistance strategy, coordinated with Haiti's development partners.”


Recent Economic Developments

The earthquake of January 12, 2010 caused unprecedented destruction of human and physical capital, with losses estimated at 120 percent of 2009 GDP. The disaster struck the country at a time when its outlook was improving after several years of prudent macroeconomic management. In 2009, Haiti’s growth reached almost 3 percent, the second-fastest rate in the Western Hemisphere.

A still fragile recovery is taking place after the earthquake. Agricultural production, construction and textile manufacturing are supporting economic activity, while remittances, which grew by 12 percent between January and May of 2010 (over the previous year), are supporting consumption and imports. Exports are recovering, although the trade deficit is still widening.

Main Program Objectives

The program is focused on macroeconomic policies that can support growth and the Haitian authorities’ reconstruction plan, as well as help manage the aid inflows. It includes improving the efficiency and transparency of spending, increasing revenues, modernizing monetary and exchange rate operations, and enhancing credit growth.

Growth: GDP is projected to expand by 9 percent in fiscal year 2011-12, due mostly to reconstruction activity, and 6 percent by 2015.

Inflation: expected to reach 8.5 percent in the current fiscal year and to decline to 7 percent by 2013.

Fiscal strategy: to boost revenue collection to 13 percent of GDP by 2013, from 10% percent currently. The authorities’ objective is to enhance the quality and effectiveness of reconstruction spending and rebuild a more modern and efficient tax administration.

Monetary policy: the program aims at building a sustainable external position while absorbing the reconstruction-related foreign exchange flows. To enhance the effectiveness of monetary policy, further steps will be taken to improve the Bank of the Republic of Haiti’s independence. The authorities also aim at gradually developing a market for government securities.