Haiti's loan-aid deal a debt trap, says Oxfam

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Haiti's loan-aid deal a debt trap, says Oxfam

Post by admin » Mon Aug 23, 2004 4:07 am

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) - Too much of the US$1 billion in aid pledged to rebuild Haiti is in loans that could force the country deeper into debt and poverty, a British-based charity said yesterday.

The group Oxfam said some pledges made Tuesday at an international donors' conference in Washington weren't generous enough.

Some US$663 million came in grants, and the remaining US$422 million in loans, said Lee Morrison, a spokesman for the World Bank.

"The Haitian people will continue to suffer because of the debt load," said Helen DaSilva, a spokeswoman for Oxfam in Boston. "We want to see the cycles of poverty be broken, not be perpetuated by the systems that are in place."

Interim Prime Minister Gerard Latortue said he was pleased with the outcome, calling it a "victory" for Haiti.

The pledges surpassed a goal set by the World
Bank and other organisations to help Haiti recover following years of turmoil and a popular revolt that led to the ouster of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide on February 29.

Haiti is the poorest country in the Americas, and its national debt reached US$1.4 billion under Aristide, while donors suspended hundreds of millions of dollars in aid following flawed 2000 elections.

The World Bank has now pledged US$150 million in loans and US$5 million in grants, Morrison said.

The Inter-American Development Bank promised US$260 million in loans, spokesman Peter Bate said. Bate said the IDB already had US$400 million in projects underway, including US$7 million in grants. Neither spokesman would comment on Oxfam's complaints.

The United States offered US$230 million this year, all in grants aimed at budget support, security, judicial reform, education, health and elections, said Jose Fuente, spokesman for the US Agency for International Development.

Other major pledges came fr
om the European Union, US$325 million, and Canada, US$135 million.

Oxfam is providing aid to Haitian survivors following devastating floods in May. The charity urged the United States to give more.

The group also urged the World Bank and International Monetary Fund to include Haiti in their Highly Indebted Poor Country initiative, a programme to lower debt to manageable levels. Morrison said they are considering it.

Leonel JB

Post by Leonel JB » Mon Aug 23, 2004 7:18 am

I really think that Haiti does not need MONEY right now. We need help with the infrastructures, education and health care. We need the same help that Israel received...

DO NOT GIVE ME A FISH EVERYDAY; SHOW ME HOW TO FISH. We're still going to be dependent on others, for those billions are doomed to be squandered. Latortue will share with his peers etc.

We need someone to teach us the right way of getting out of that hell hole. We need better treatment plant, schools and respect of our constitution and sovereignty. Not your little crumbs which would not be sufficient to feed our hungry.

This is a temporary government, do not give them that money.

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