Total Sum of IDB and World Bank Ambitions for Haiti
HSG reporting from Port-au-Prince, 25-04-2012
A report filed by MEPs on the Budget Control Committee of the European Parliament on EU aid to Haiti contains powerful recommendations which, if observed, could considerably enhance Haiti’s development prospects (see last blog entry). However, quotes contained in that report from the representatives of two major inter-governmental donors to Haiti reveal what astute Haiti watchers have long known: that the operations of the World Bank (WB) and the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB) have, to date, done little or nothing to advance sustainable development for the poor majority — all now in black and white from the MEPs who travelled to Haiti on a fact-finding mission in February. “IADB does not envisage a possibility to induce a major change in Haiti. A number of “low-hanging fruit” can be identified where the assistance can bring results: there is indeed a possibility to create jobs (e.g. garment sector has a potential to increase from current 25,000 employees to 100-125,000), a need for more industrial parks, etc.”. This is how the report sums up the he views of Eduardo Almeida, the IADB’s representative in Haiti. The World Bank’s Country Representative, Alexander Abrantes, is apparently of the same mind. “According to the WB, the observations and identified problems match those which were outlined by the IADB,” the report states. Such admissions beg the obvious question: why are hundreds of millions of dollars of taxpayers money wasted on the Haitian operations of these two institutions? Just asking.