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a777: Dow Jones Newswires: IMF: Haiti Political, Econ RecordPrevents New Credit (fwd)

From: Robert Benodin <r.benodin@worldnet.att.net>

Dow Jones Newswires
Saturday February 9, 2:16 AM
IMF: Haiti Political, Econ Record Prevents New Credit

WASHINGTON -(Dow Jones)- The International Monetary Fund said Friday it's
unable to extend new credit to Haiti owing to the country's ongoing
political crisis and slow progress toward economic reform.
In a prepared statement, the Fund's executive board said it had hoped for
resolution of political unrest associated with parliamentary and
presidential elections in 2000 to support discussions for aid under the
IMF's Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility.
"To date, though some progress has been made under the auspices of
OAS/CARICOM (Organization of American States/Carribean Community), the
political crisis essentially remains unresolved," the IMF said.
Budgetary aid to Haiti remained suspended throughout fiscal 2000-01, though
nongovernmental organizations continue to channel humanitarian aid, it said.
Faced with negative capital flows, Haiti accumulated external arrears, the
IMF said, noting the Inter -American Development Bank has halted loan
disbursements and the World Bank has canceled undisbursed loans.
The IMF board expressed "deep concern about the continued decline in per
capita income and persistence of widespread poverty, the increase in the
fiscal deficit and central bank financing, and the accumulation of external
debt arrears."
It noted an estimated decline in real GDP of nearly 2% during fiscal 2000-01
and inflation during the year of about 16%.
The IMF board welcomed the submission of a budget for fiscal 2001-02, the
first official budget since 1996, but said it would fall short of what's
needed for economic stabilization. It recommended improved tax collection,
broadening the tax base and an automatic price adjustment system for
The board welcomed maintenance of a floating exchange rate for Haiti's
currency, the gourde, and said it looks forward to restructuring and
privatization of large public enterprises including Banque Nationale de
-By Campion Walsh, Dow Jones Newswires