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Washington hails Haiti's successful transition from post-disaster to nation building
Published on June 11, 2014 Email To Friend    Print Version

Haitian President Michel Martelly (L) with US President Barack Obama

By Joseph Guyler Delva

WASHINGTON, USA (HCNN) -- The US State Department on Monday hailed Haiti's successful government-led efforts to facilitate the Caribbean country's transition from a post-disaster era to a building and long-term development period, marked by progress in different sectors, over four years after a devastating earthquake hit.

In a report published on Monday in Washington, the US government acknowledged Haiti's successful transition from a post-disaster era to a period marked with progress in the country's rebuilding effort, in its economy, in its job creation and private investment efforts, among other things.

"As Haiti approaches the five-year mark since the January 2010 earthquake that devastated much of the country, it has successfully transitioned from a post-disaster era to a period of building and long-term development," reads the report issued by the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs, at the US State department.

The report underlined the fact that as of June 2014, more than 90 percent of the 1.5 million displaced persons in camps have found alternative housing, nearly all earthquake debris that obstructed recovery has been removed and thousands of needed jobs are being created in Haiti’s growing export apparel sector.

The report highlights positive annual growth rates since 2011, including 4.3 percent in 2013 – one of the highest in the region, while noting a significant increase in private investments, compared to foreign assistance spending in Haiti.

"Private investment set a ten-year high in 2013, outpacing foreign assistance spending in Haiti by more than 100 percent," says the report.

The report says since the earthquake, the United States has made available nearly $4 billion for assistance to Haiti to support life-saving post-disaster relief as well as longer-term recovery, reconstruction, and development programs.

A deadly earthquake hit Haiti on January 12, 2010, devastating the country's economy and infrastructure and leaving up to 300,000 people killed.

The HOPE and HELP Acts, which provide for duty-free exports to the US market of textile products manufactured in Haiti, have been instrumental in the redevelopment of country’s apparel industry which accounted for some 90 percent of national export earnings and provides approximately 30,000 jobs (2013).

The State Department mentioned efforts made by Haiti's Center of Investment Facilitation (CFI) aimed at facilitating and promoting investment in the local economy by reducing administrative delays, streamlining the creation of enterprises, and facilitating the provision of inducements.

The report underscores the partnership between Haiti and the US to promote democracy and human rights.

"Haiti and the United States are partners in promoting core values such as democracy, respect for human rights, and economic development both in the region and around the world," reads the report released on Monday by the Obama administration.

US officials reminded that both nations belong to a number of the same international organizations, including the United Nations, Organization of American States (OAS), International Monetary Fund, World Bank, and World Trade Organization.

Finally, the report provides a partial list of projects and achievements made possible in Haiti over the past years, thanks to US funding:

•Some 328,000 displaced Haitians housed,

•2.7 million cubic meters of rubble removed,

•Thousands of jobs created at the Caracol Industrial Park in Haiti’s north,

•Tens of thousands of Haitian farmers have higher crop yields and incomes,

•A new 10 megawatt power plant is providing electricity in the north,

•The Haitian National Police is stronger with the addition of more than 2,000 new officers,

•Some 600 semi-permanent classrooms were constructed enabling 60,000 children to return to school, and many basic health indicators, including child nutrition and mortality and HIV/AIDS are improving.
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