Haiti's Fate is Decided in Washington, Not Port-au-Prince

Even four years after the devastating earthquake that tore apart Haiti with 160,000 deaths, the country is still bearing the scars. The dependence on the foreign aid has skyrocketed. Haiti is not the easiest place to do business. The country lacks good ports and roads, electricity and good supportive institutions. Haiti has remained in ruins. Its desperately needed reconstruction projects and infrastructure are still in firm foreign control. The government at Port-au Prince is failing within an impoverished damaged economy. Haiti is the poorest country in the Americas with low labor cost and tariff free export dumping market for its closest neighbor U.S. More than 40% of the Haitians are subsistence farmers who mainly focus on growing enough food to feed own families and are subject to vulnerable to damage from recurring natural disasters.


The real rate of unemployment is around three quarters of the population despite the government record shows it at 40%. The U.S government has put up $124 million for a power plant and other infrastructure. The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB or IADB), the largest source of development financing for Latin America and the Caribbean has promised to invest $100 million at the Caracol Industrial Park. The IDB is one of the international organizations that oversee the aid programs in the country along with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank and U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). They negotiate with the government on the project that needs funding and approve with higher officials in Washington. IDB has arranged to cancel the country's outstanding debt, which amounted to some $487 million. The organization has decided to donate a total of $200 million, every year until 2020 for improving the country's transportation, agriculture, energy, education, water, and development of the private sector. Haiti has so far managed to attract the largest textile manufacture in the world from Korea, "Sae-A Trading Co", to the Caracol Industrial Park. It is anticipated that this park will eventually create 60,000 jobs, although, they will be mostly low paying assembling works at around $5 a day. As per 2011 U.N report, 78% of the population live on below $2 a day while 54% or more than half, live in extreme poverty-- below $1 a day.

U.S is Haiti's chief donor-- recipient of the highest per capita foreign aid. But U.S is now concentrating to build a viable economy.

IDB as the largest donor has contributed $491.7 million between 2010 and 2012 followed by Canada ($374.8 million), the U.S. ($298.1 million) and Spain ($292.5 million), World Bank ($287.4 million) and IMF ($152.4 million).

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