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Haiti's recovery needs top $1.3 billion, new report shows

Washington, July 13, 2004 - The interim Government of Haiti, the European Commission, the Inter-American Development Bank, the United Nations  and the World Bank today released an assessment of Haiti’s social, economic and political needs over the next two years determining that total financing requirements top $1.3 billion.  Given existing financing of some $440 million, the assessment calls for $924 million to be raised to fill the financing gap.

The needs assessment, entitled the Interim Cooperation Framework (ICF), outlines the interim Government’s program for the next two years and will form the basis for discussions and pledging at the forthcoming International Donors Conference on Haiti to be held at the World Bank in Washington on July 19 and 20, 2004.

From restoring electricity services to feeding disadvantaged children and getting them back to school, the Interim Cooperation Framework covers priorities in twenty sectors and four cross-cutting themes*.  Led by the interim government, in coordination with the European Commission, the Inter-American Development Bank, the United Nations and the World Bank, the ICF exercise involved over 200 national and international experts from 26 bilateral and multilateral donors,  UN agencies, civil society and the private sector. The findings and recommendations of the ICF were discussed at several workshops convened by the interim Government of Haiti with the participation of political parties, civil society organizations and local authorities at both the national and the regional level - in Port-au-Prince, Les Cayes, Gonaives and Cap Haitien. In preparation for the international donors conference next week, Government officials and donors met on June 15 to review the preliminary results of the assessment.

The interim Government’s priorities as outlined in the Interim Cooperation Framework revolve around four strategic areas:

  • Strengthening political governance and promoting national dialogue;
  • Strengthening economic governance and institutional development;
  • Promoting economic recovery; and
  • Improving access to basic services.

Quick impact programs identified by the ICF to meet the country’s priority needs over the next two months include the creation of  31,000 jobs, the collection and disposal of 50 percent of garbage in urban areas,  the upgrading of 500 slum dwellings in Port-au-Prince, and the doubling of electricity services to 12 hours per day in Port au-Prince. These programs are aimed at restoring stability and improving the quality of life following the months of violence that earlier this year closed businesses, prevented children from going to school, shut off power and water services, and left piles of garbage in the streets.

Over the next two years, in the social sector alone, the ICF outlines programs to improve nutrition for over 440,000 poor children, immunize 80 percent of children under age one against diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis (DPT3) in fifteen key districts, and rehabilitate 1,500 schools.

During the next year, while implementing the programs of the Interim Cooperation Framework in partnership with the international community and non-governmental organizations, the interim Government plans to resume the preparation of a Poverty Reduction Strategy (PRSP) through a participatory process involving all sectors of Haitian society. The draft PRSP will be presented to the new government  resulting from the 2005 elections.

Financing Needs:

With an estimated per capita income of $361 in 2003, Haiti is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. Half of the urban population has no access to safe water, the incidence of HIV/AIDS is estimated at 5 percent, and the average Haitian can expect to live only 53 years. The effects of a three-year economic embargo in the early 1990s, followed by years of political upheaval, conflict and insecurity have hindered sustainable economic and social progress and contributed to increased violence.

Against this backdrop, the Interim Cooperation Framework has paid particular attention to the importance of  putting in place the conditions for free, credible and  transparent elections; restoring law and order; ensuring quick and visible improvements in basic services for the Haitian people; building long-term institutional and human capacity; and strengthening economic governance to ensure sustainable, accountable and transparent development. Particular attention has also been paid to issues of institutional strengthening, absorptive capacity, donor coordination, and the close monitoring of the ICF implementation and results — all issues which have undermined aid efforts in the past.

The Interim Cooperation Framework estimates the overall needs for the two year-period (July 2004-September 2006) for programs in the 20 priority sectors to be US$1.37 billion.  Not all of the identified needs require new financing, however. Already in 2004, about $440 million is available from donors’ and the government’s own resources — a signal of the interim Government’s commitment to the program. At the July 19 and 20  conference, donors will be looking to raise the additional $924 million needed to fill the financing gap for the two year program.

The sectors include: security, police and demobilization, disarmament and reintegration; justice, penitentiary institutions and human rights; electoral process; economic governance; institutional capacity building;  regional, urban and local development and decentralization; electricity; rapid job creation and micro-finance; development of private sector development, small- and medium-enterprises and small- and medium-industries; agriculture; roads and transportation; protection and rehabilitation of the environment; water and sanitation; health and nutrition; education, youth and sports; culture, media and communications; food security; slum upgrading, solid waste management;   safety nets and social protection. Cross-cutting issues include crisis prevention, human rights, gender, and HIV/AIDS.

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