Haiti's Public Debt At $ 2,771 Million, 33.5% Of Haitian GDP

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In 2016, Haiti's public debt at $ 2,771 million reached 33.5% of Haitian GDP and that translates to $255 per individual citizen. As per recent reports (dated May 27, 2017), the national and international debt of the Republic of Haiti hovers around US$3 billion out of which $1 billion represents internal debt and $2 billion of external one.

An 'External Debt' (or foreign debt) is the total debt of a country due to the foreign creditors while an 'Internal Debt' (or domestic debt) is the part of the total government debt in a country that is owed to lenders within the country.

If we compare this debt amount with other neighboring Caribbean countries, we might understand the relative soundness and solvency of the Haitian economy.

In 2015, per capita public debt amount of Honduras was $1,185 (at 46.17% of GDP). The similar figure for Guyana was $2,153 (48.31% of GDP). The island of Puerto Rico is on the verge of a bankruptcy situation and is saddled with a debt of $91 billion for a population of 3.5 million inhabitants while Haiti has 10 million people. As per June 2016 data, the most indebted nation in the Caribbean is the Dominican Republic. The DR has a public debt of over US$38 billion or almost 36% of the total GDP with an estimated individual public debt of US$2, 285.44. The comparable figures for Jamaica are: US$ 34 billion, 114% and US$8,089.77 respectively (Source: News America, June 10, 2016).

To keep our record comparable on a fair scale, we should remember the fact that Haiti erased its external debt twice. In 2009, once Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) with support from the United States, out of Haiti's total external debt figure, an amount of $4.4 billion was erased and again in 2010, out of the remaining balance of $484 million to the IDB the United States paid $236 million. Likewise the U.S, following the 2010 earthquake, Venezuela, one of the largest creditors of Haiti because of the PetroCaribe program also waived its claim of $300 million.

Haiti, as an "indebted" nation; it is not only required to pay down its debt, but it is also forced to adhere to economic policy prescriptions of the creditor nations and institutions that have crippled its every system.

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Reader Comments 1

Raymond Lafontant says...

not a big deal. this debt is, in its majority, a bilateral one.

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