The Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) will contribute a CAN$19.5 million (about US$16.5 million) grant to a program financed by the Inter-American Development Bank to improve basic infrastructure in Haiti, the IDB announced today.
The IDB’s Board of Executive Directors approved modifications to the original US$70 million program to increase its resources with the Canadian cofinancing, which will place emphasis on the rehabilitation of roads and encourage greater participation of Haitian women in projects supported by the program.
Haiti is the leading recipient of Canadian aid in the Western Hemisphere. Besides its contribution to the IDB-financed program, CIDA has distinguished itself for its work to improve conditions in sectors as diverse as electricity, agriculture, microfinance and security in Haiti.
CIDA’s resources will expand a transparent and flexible facility that helps Haitian ministries and decentralized government agencies undertake medium-size infrastructure projects (ranging from US$200,000 to US$3 million) in areas they can have a high economic impact and raise the quality of life of the local population.
The program, which has already disbursed almost US$12 million and has committed around US$30 million more to specific projects, can finance works on a broad range of infrastructure, including roads, bridges, ports, airports, cargo terminals, irrigation ditches, potable water and sanitation systems, public marketplaces and abattoirs.
The facility also finances activities to ensure the technical quality of project planning and implementation, including environmental and social impact studies and mitigation measures, as well as the transparent and sound management of program resources.
In 2005 the program received a US$7 million contribution from the OPEC Fund for International Development. Spain has also expressed interest in providing cofinancing to the facility.
The IDB is carrying out two other basic infrastructure-related initiatives in Haiti, the US$50 million road rehabilitation and maintenance program and the US$78 million transportation infrastructure rehabilitation program. By request of the Haitian government, these programs are financing investments in sections of two of the principal highways, RN1 and RN2.
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