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IDB approves $118 million in grants for Haiti

The Inter-American Development Bank today approved grants totaling $118 million for Haiti to improve electricity and water services in Port-au-Prince, which were severely affected by the January 12 earthquake, and to upgrade highways and roads.

A $14 million grant will help Haiti speed up the recovery of electricity services in the capital by increasing the supply of energy and reducing power outages. The Haitian government is currently using resources from an earlier IDB operation and a World Bank-financed project to repair critical circuits.

The additional resources will help finance repairs to high, medium and low voltage circuits as well as the construction of a new substation in the industrial district of Tabare. The grant will also finance the acquisition of IT hardware and software and the training of staff of the state-owned utility Électricité d’Haïti to reduce its technical and commercial power losses.

A project backed by a $35 million grant from the Spanish Cooperation Fund for Water and Sanitation in Latin America and the Caribbean (Spanish Fund) and a $15 million grant from the IDB will finance the rehabilitation and the expansion of water and sanitation services in Port-au-Prince.

Work will include repairing reservoirs damaged by the earthquake, providing water to resettlements and installing water kiosks where connections are not available. The project will also provide financial support to strengthen Haiti’s water and sanitation agency, DINEPA.

Two IDB grants totaling $54 million will help repair highways and improve secondary roads. Transportation is a key sector in the Haitian government’s economic recovery plan.

A $29 million grant will help complete rehabilitation work on RN1 from the outskirts of Port-au-Prince to the city of Saint Marc, one of the busiest stretches of the country’s principal highway. A $25 million grant will finance work to improve the secondary road network in Haiti’s southern peninsula.

Besides reducing vehicle operation costs and travel time, investments in the Haitian road network generate jobs and business opportunities in the communities where road work is carried out.

The IDB is Haiti’s leading multilateral source of assistance for long-term development. In March the IDB’s Board of Governors agreed to provide Haiti $200 million a year over the next decade to support its reconstruction efforts.

Since the earthquake the IDB has approved projects totaling $211 million for Haiti, including $45 million in contributions from the Spanish Fund. Previous grants were made for direct budget support for the Haitian government, housing and water and sanitation.

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