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Haiti to expand business facilities at Caracol Industrial Park with support from IDB

$70 million grant to create job opportunities in above-board economy and stimulate private investment

The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) has approved a grant of $55 million and co-financing from the United States government to the tune of $15 million to expand facilities for businesses at the Caracol Industrial Park (PIC) and create above-board jobs in northern and northeast Haiti, which are among the poorest departments in that country. 

The transaction is part of PIC´s fourth phase and seeks to provide medium-term support for the industrial and urban base of Haiti in a context of environmental sustainability.Haitian authorities' priority is to contribute to the country's decentralization, encouraging economic growth by creating jobs in the poorest areas. It also aims to stimulate private investment, boosting manufacturing and the Haiti's export capacity. 

The program aims to generate 6,800 jobs by 2018 in companies that operate out of the industrial park. Approximately 65 percent of them will be for women. 

The project will also boost payments into the social security system, rent and services provided by employers and lease-holders, as well as wages paid to workers at the park. 

According to figures from 2012, Haiti has a population of 10.2 million people, of which3 million live in metropolitan Port-au-Prince. Another 1. 8 million live in departments in the north and northeast of the Caribbean country. Two of the main problems facing Haiti are unemployment, estimated at 40.6 percent in 2010 and the fact that 71 percent of the population lives on wages of less than two dollars a day. 

The new financing will focus on construction of buildings and factories for industrial activities and structures to meet the demands of current tenants and new ones that will set up shop in the PIC. Furthermore, there will be an expansion of roads and public services. 

Funds will also be allotted for projects that boost urban development, transport and other public works in the communities that surround the PIC, such as a bus garage and a bike path that will connect the PIC to the town of Caracol. The project also provides funds to create a management structure at Three Bays National Park (PN3B), recently created to protect bays, mangrove swamps and coral reefs in Limonade, Caracol and Fort Liberté. 

The IDB, which is the main multilateral donor to Haiti, is currently financing projects in agriculture, education, energy, transport, water, sewage and private sector development, with a total portfolio of more than $1.3 billion. All IDB non-reimbursable financing is executed by the Haitian government, and includes funds for strengthening governmental institutions.