Haiti secures Canadian grant to complete road access to Port-au-Prince

Haiti will receive a US$15.4 million grant provided by Canada and administered by the Inter-American Development Bank to complete a crucial road project linking Port-au-Prince with the southern provinces of Grand Anse, Nippes, Sud and Sud-Est.

The grant will help finance the fourth and last stage to complete the southern entry access into Port-au-Prince, known as “Route des Rails” in the Carrefour suburb.

The project, which is to be completed in two years, aims to ease traffic congestion in the Carrefour area, thus reducing the total travel time between downtown Port-au-Prince and the south of the country.

The project also includes improvements in the rain drainage system in the area, rehabilitation of several local streets, the construction of a new bus station serving travelers to and from the south as well as pedestrian safety measures and traffic signaling.

The grant was approved by the IDB as part of a US$109.7 million program to improve Haiti’s basic economic infrastructure. The IDB is contributing US$70 million to the program and the Canadian International Development Agency another US$31.9 million. The Haitian government has put up US$800,000 and OPEC US$7 million.

The IDB is the largest multilateral partner in Haiti, with an active portfolio of 23 investment and policy-based operations for a total of US$674.9 million as of May, 2008. Just under half has been disbursed so far.

The IDB finances projects in three key areas: US$77.5 million for economic governance and institutional development, US$349.5 million for economic recovery, and US$247.9 million for access to basic services. This package is complemented by US$124 million in IDB-administered co-financing, including the funds provided by Canada.