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9875: U.S. must demand reforms before giving aid to Haiti (fwd)

From: Stanley Lucas <slucas@iri.org>

Washington Times 

December 5, 2001 

U.S. must demand reforms before giving aid to Haiti  Contrary to the assertions of Ronald V. Dellums in his Dec. 3 Op-Ed piece, "Haiti's season of misery," Haiti's problems are not the fault of the U.S. government, the Inter-American Development Bank, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund or the European Community. The fault lies with the regime of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide and the Lavalas Family party, which has held power for nearly 10 years. 
    Some want the United States and the international community simply to write a check to Haiti. Without the benefit of controls, a modicum of transparency and a working political process that ensures accountability, donors might just as well fill out deposit slips for individual Swiss bank accounts. Unless the United States imposes a moratorium on aid, staff at lending and granting institutions cannot recommend disbursement of monies to a shell ministry and vastly dysfunctional governmental apparatus. 
    The Lavalas operatives know exactly what to do to obtain the release of funds and augment the considerable humanitarian aid currently channeled through nongovernmental organizations. Beyond organizing a truly independent Provisional Electoral Council, as mandated by the Haitian Constitution of 1987, and holding new legislative and municipal elections, salient reforms must include the following: 
    • A prime minister who, in the manner envisaged in the Constitution of 1987, acts as the head of government and interacts with a truly autonomous legislature and independent judiciary; 
    • A police force that works with the population to restore law and order and that works closely with an independent civilian review board; 
    • The abdication of the government's role as franchisor of monopolistic commercial ventures, which will attract meaningful domestic and external investments and align Haiti with contemporary norms of business performance and accountability. 
    • The enactment of autonomous private and public sector authorities to manage the reconstruction of Haiti at all levels and in all sectors. 
    Without these critical adjustments, no amount of money will correct Haiti's many ills. 
    Silver Spring