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7874: Fw: Haiti's Economic Crisis (fwd)

From: Max Blanchet <maxblanchet@worldnet.att.net>

 A  friend of mine allowed me to see the Haiti section of a recent

 report of the Economist -- available only to subscribers -- that

 deals with the economics of Puerto Rico, the DR and Haiti.

 The report is very objective, clear, and readable.

 It confirms what others have already described, namely:

 -- The trade deficit is huge, amounting to nearly one billion US dollars

    last year. The trend is not favorable as the country imports more and

    exports less and less. The remittances of Haitians in the Diaspora play

    the largest role in closing the gap. They send home about 600 million

    dollars per year. Foreign assistance (largely on hold today) in the form

    of grants or low interest loans makes up the difference.

-- the budget deficit is also huge: about 45 million US dollars in the

   first half of the current fiscal year. More than what was projected for

   the whole year. This has forced the Central Bank to tighten monetary

   policy by increasing interest rates and reserve requirements. This will

   no doubt dampen economic activity at a time the GOH is trying to

   increase taxes.

The Haitian "decideurs" must or should have grasped the gravity of that

situation months ago. Why then have they allowed the political crisis to

 fester?  The crisis has had after all a direct impact on the economic

the suspension of direct economic aid, lower local and  foreign

investments in the country, accelerated flight of capital, more

 restrictive macroeconomic policies, pressure on the gourde which

 makes imports -- especially food -- more expensive ...

 The "decideurs" have been playing Russian roulette with the very life

 of the Republic.

 With theirs as well in the final analysis!

The letter of Madame Michèle Montal to her late husband, Jean

Dominique, made that clear.

Another fascinating report that came to my attention is in the form of

a memorandum by the Haitian Government to be presented to the

Third UN Conference on the Less Developped Countries to be

held in Brussels later this month.

It makes the point at the outset that "The promotion of genuine

development requires, beyond the building of infrastructures, social

stability and good governance."

In a first part, the report paints a somber and sobering picture of the

socio-economic situation of the last decade and presents in a second part

a comprehensive program to deal with the severe underdevelopment of

the country through the following goals:

a) To promote sustainable development based on the reinforcement of the

    commercial capacity of the country.

b) To fight poverty through the creation of a food security safety net.

c) To create a climate of peace and security for all citizens.

d) To reinforce the quality of social services offered to the poor.

Who would quarrel with these goals, especially  b, c and d?

I will leave it to others to dissect the merits or demerits of this

program. But, let us remember that the road to development in

Haiti is littered with the carcasses of development programs

submitted by the GOH as far back as one can remenber.

Let us hope that this time, the proposed program will be

implemented. It was incidentally prepared by the Ministry of

Planification and External Cooperation (MPCE) under Marc Bazin.

 Angle ekri, angle konprann ...