Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

IMF cancels $268 million Haiti debt

Associated Press PARIS — The IMF says it has canceled Haiti’s $268 million debt and will lend the earthquake-devastated country another $60 million to help it with reconstruction plans. The International Monetary Fund said Wednesday the decision is part of a plan for long-term reconstruction after the Jan. 12 magnitude-7 quake, which killed as many as 300,000 people. The three-year loan carries a zero interest rate until 2011 which then rises to no more than 0.5 percent. The Washington-based fund says its moves should encourage aid contributions to the impoverished country. “Donors must start delivering on their promises to Haiti quickly, so reconstruction can be accelerated, living standards quickly improved and social tensions soothed,” IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn said in a statement. In Haiti more than six months after the quake, rubble and collapsed buildings still dominate the landscape. The […]

IMF forgives Haiti’s $268 million debt to the fund

By CNN Wire Staff The IMF has canceled Haiti’s $268 million debt to the fund so the country can free up more money for reconstruction. Washington (CNN) — The executive board of the International Monetary Fund approved Wednesday the cancellation of Haiti’s $268 million debt to the fund. The board also approved a three-year request by authorities to support Haiti’s reconstruction and growth program. The decisions are part of an effort to support Haiti’s longer-term reconstruction plans after the January 12 earthquake, which killed more than 220,000 people, destroyed 60 percent of government infrastructure and left more than 180,000 homes uninhabitable. Six months later, more than 1.5 million remain in overcrowded displacement camps. “The new program provides a strong and forward-looking framework to support economic stability and reconstruction in the country, and will also help catalyze donors’ contributions,” the IMF […]

Rained Out? Opportunities in Haiti Washing Away

By Mark Schuller, Huffington Post It’s about 7:30 local time as I write this. We’ll see if I can connect to the internet and post. I just got off the phone with Leslie, a friend and leader in Asanble Vwazen Solino (the Solino Neighborhood Assembly). Knowing the answer, he asked me, “is it raining over where you are?” “Of course it is. But you know I have a house.” “We are all wet!” he intoned. “We won’t get to sleep tonight.” I doubt if I will either. It’s been raining — hard — since the afternoon. There’s a tropical storm brewing off the northeast coast of the island — yes, on the Dominican side. But there’s currently a sixty percent chance of several days of rain. Now more than six months after the earthquake, the 1.5 million homeless that it […]

IMF Executive Board Cancels Haiti’s Debt and Approves New Three-Year Program to Support Reconstruction and Economic Growth

IMF Press Release No. 10/299 The Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) today approved the full cancellation of Haiti’s outstanding liabilities to the Fund, of about SDR 178 million (equivalent to US$268 million). The Board also approved a new three-year arrangement for Haiti under the Extended Credit Facility (ECF) requested by the authorities to support the country’s reconstruction and growth program. Both decisions form part of a broad strategy to support Haiti’s longer term reconstruction plans, following the devastating earthquake of January 12, 2010. The cancellation of existing debt was advocated by IMF Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn in the days following the disaster as part of a concerted international effort to launch a “Marshall Plan” for the reconstruction of the country. The new program provides a strong and forward-looking framework to support economic stability and reconstruction in the […]

Children of the Quake: Young survivors learn in a new land

By Tara W. Merrigan, Dorchester Reporter Children of the Quake: Sherline Gustave, 18, survived Haiti’s Jan. 12 earthquake and joined family to live in Boston in February. She is one of many Haitian nationals now learning English through a special Boston Public School program. She is pictured above in a classroom at Hyde Park High School. Photo by Tara Merrigan Sherline Gustave, 18, slept on the streets of Port-au-Prince for weeks after January’s earthquake leveled her family’s home. “I felt the house shaking and it crumbled just as my family and I got outside,” said Gustave in her native Haitian Creole—translated to English by her teacher, Evelyn Prophete. “We [Gustave and her family members] were sleeping out in the street in the sun and even in the rain. Hoping to find a better life, Gustave and her sisters emigrated from […]

Haiti: Frozen in Time

By Sasha Kramer, CounterPunch Six months later and sometimes it feels like we will be stuck in January 2010 forever. It as if we are frozen in time, looking out on the hillsides covered with tents. Every once in a while we will notice a change, like the empty space where the church used to be on Delmas 53. For years I would stay in the hotel across the street and be awakened by singing from that church. In January, when I returned to the hotel, the church was a mound of cement and twisted iron with a cross that dangled precariously into the street. Now there is just a hole, an empty space that still echoes with the voices of the choir. Sometimes we notice the ever growing piles of rubble that spill out into the street as people […]

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