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IDB sends technical mission to Haiti this week

The Inter-American Development Bank today said it has sent a technical mission to Haiti to hold talks with Haitian authorities this week on the resumption of lending activities to support key social and basic infrastructure programs.

The Haitian government fell behind on debt repayments last year. Under long standing policy, the IDB cannot disburse loans to borrowing countries while they are in arrears. That restriction does not cover grant resources, which have continued to flow to NGOs and other institutions working in Haiti.

Haitian officials and IDB staff held a first round of discussions in August, in which the Haitian government ratified its intentions of meeting its financial commitments. Since then, the IDB has worked to update four soft loans totaling nearly $149 million that were approved between 1997 and 1998 for education, health, roads and potable water programs.

The IDB has been a leading source of financing for Haiti since the country returned to democratic rule in 1994. Lending had been suspended in 1991 after a military-led coup d’etat interrupted the constitutional process.

Over the past seven years the IDB has disbursed over $326 million to support education, health and water and sanitation programs in Haiti; as well as projects involving reconstruction of roads, bridges and other infrastructure, energy, irrigation, agriculture and reforestation.

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