European Investment Bank (EIB) To Finance Projects in Haiti
On Monday, May 24, 2017, Pim van Ballekom, the Vice-President of the European Investment Bank (EIB) along with a team of delegation, visited the EIB-funded hospital in Tabarre during a tour aiming the exploration of project opportunities in Haiti. After the 2010 earthquake, EIB provided a grant of €600,000 (HTG 45 million) to build this modular trauma surgery hospital run by Médecins Sans Frontières in Tabarre. The staff of EIB also donated €51,357 for this hospital. In Haiti, EIB has granted a total of €16 million (HTG 1.2 billion) support to SME projects (small and medium-sized enterprises).
On his first visit to the country, Vice President Pim van Ballekom and his team discussed funding opportunities with the Haitian authorities, including Haiti President Jovenel Moïse, Central Bank Governor Jean Baden Dubois, and ministers of the government with the objective of granting loans for future projects.
After a long gap of 60 years, Haiti has exported a shipment of bananas to Europe under a three year contract valuing €93 million, each year. In contrast, Haiti's next neighbor Dominican Republic, every year sends up to 350,000 MT of premium organic fruits, overseas.
Although these two nations share similar soil, same climate along with logistics and trade characteristics, Haiti's export of agricultural products were almost negligible. 'Agritrans SA' is a $27 million ambitious agricultural project attempting to establish a banana business in Haiti with modern agricultural equipment such as irrigation pumps, an artificial lake with 700.000 gallon capacity, tractors, etc.
It has involved about 300 farmers whose goal is to cultivate organic plantains exclusively for exportation. They have planted 228,000 banana seedlings over 1,000 hectares in Northern Haiti. The Haitian government has, so far, invested around $18 million to increase the plantation up to 2 million banana trees.
The non-profit Haiti Jazz, in collaboration with Caracoli and Haiti Music, came together to launch the new media library in downtown Port-au-Prince recently. The House of Music (kay mizik la in Créole) was built as an archival storage space to house collections of Haiti's music history, its recordings, documented history, and music artifacts.
The European Union (EU) has subsidized the project with a five million gourdes gift. The motivation to create the media library was to develop awareness, knowledge, and appreciation of Haiti's cultural contribution to music arts. The EU's Cultural Secretary, Leandro Medeot, on hand at the launch, commented on the importance of developing and carrying forward the artistic and social influences of Haitian music. The House of Music will provide a forum for music industry artists, musicologists, and technology specialists to gather, share, explore, and define the evolution and impact of Haitian music on the cultural landscape.
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