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a690: International aid - Let's assume for a moment ... (fwd)

From: Pierre Jean <pierrejean01@yahoo.com>

Let's assume for a moment that the international
community decides to release the $200-$500 million
that are being withheld for Haiti. What is the
government's plan for those funds? Has anybody on this
list seen or heard about any budget being drafted for
these funds?

In the context of a public policy debate, it is not
enough for CARICOM and miscellaneous groups to call
for the release of such funds. I think that, as a
taxpayer who will ultimately bear the responsibility
of paying the interest on the loan portion of these
funds, I should have an idea of how these funds will
be disbursed. I have received a copy of the budget
presented by Gustave to Parliament, and it is based
exclusively on tax receipts and sundry government

If the government urgently needs those funds, it also
needs to tell us how it will spend them, something I
have not yet seen. While the Bush administration may
be playing a cynical game with respect to these funds,
the poor level of management that I am currently
witnessing at the various ministries coupled with the
insanely high level of theft and corruption within the
public sector do not bode well for the management of
such important funds, if they were to be released. The
Haitian people would be the ultimate loser for two
reasons: most of these funds would probably not be
used to better our conditions, and we would end up
paying for the loans anyway.

I am just not optimistic.

Pierre Jean

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