U.S. Department of the Treasury Press Release
WASHINGTON – Treasury Under Secretary for International Affairs Lael Brainard today participated in a signing ceremony at the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) to mobilize significant new grant resources for Haiti and eliminate all of Haiti’s debts to the institution. The U.S. contribution of $204 million today, along with additional contributions from the IDB’s shareholders and transfers from ordinary capital, will allow the bank to fully cancel Haiti’s $447 million debt to the IDB and provide $2.5 billion in grants for Haiti over the next decade.
“In the days following the earthquake, President Obama pledged the full and continued commitment of the United States in the recovery and reconstruction of Haiti,” said Under Secretary Brainard. “Today marks an important milestone in that effort. Thanks to the steadfast support from Congress, the U.S. is today providing essential cash assistance to lift the lives of the Haitian people.”
Using these funds, the IDB will pursue a comprehensive program for Haiti reconstruction concentrating on six priority sectors aligned with the Haitian Government’s national development plan:
- Agriculture: Improving rural production, productivity and living conditions through financing irrigation and watershed management, improved farming techniques and control of pests and diseases affecting crops.
- Water and Sanitation: Providing sustainable water and sanitation services in urban and rural areas highly-impacted by the earthquake.
- Education: Working with Haiti on the Government-led five-year education reform strategy to rehabilitate schools damaged or destroyed in the earthquake and improve the quality of education.
- Transportation: Focusing on the rehabilitation of damaged roads and thoroughfares and strengthening the institutional capacity of the Ministry of Public Works, Transport, and Communications.
- Energy: Working with members of the international community and the Government of Haiti to increase the capacity to generate electricity and introducing a culture of payment for services.
- Expanding Credit: Unlocking credit for Haiti’s microenterprises and small and medium-size businesses to regain their footing since the earthquake.
“We are grateful for this contribution by the United States, which will allow us to relieve Haiti of all its debt obligations to us,” said IDB President Luis Alberto Moreno. “This will free up millions in assistance for Haiti for development, without creating any future burden for a country that faces enormous challenges. This is an important reaffirmation of the IDB’s and the international community’s commitment to a better future for Haiti.”
In July, following passage by the U.S. Congress and upon President Obama’s signing of the FY 10 Supplemental Appropriations Act, the Treasury Department announced that the United States, the International Financial Institutions (IFIs), and other donors together reached the goal of eliminating the total debt stock that Haiti owed to the IFIs at the time of the January earthquake. The announcement marked one of the fastest multilateral debt reductions in history. Today’s event marks the formal delivery of U.S. funds that will allow IDB debt cancellation and additional grant financing to proceed.
When the earthquake struck, Haiti owed $447 million to the IDB. With the U.S. contribution to the IDB, the Treasury-led effort to eliminate the entirety of Haiti’s pre-earthquake debt obligations to the IFIs will be fully achieved.
Brainard visited Haiti in July to assess first-hand the assistance efforts of the Multilateral Development Banks and discuss Treasury’s forthcoming deployment of a technical assistance team and Financial Attaché to the country.