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learnedly read, too; in part, of intellectual rigor
Posted Thursday, July 22, 2010
The U.S. risks wasting the aid it is offering earthquake-torn Haiti, a Senate
report to be released Thursday says.
|U.S. Senator Warns Aid to
Haiti Is at Risk
|By NICHOLAS CASEY
The government has failed to make basic reforms such as ensuring transparent
No Leadership-No Elections) and reducing barriers for private investment,
according to the report "Without Reform, No Return on Investment in Haiti," by
Sen. Richard Lugar (R., Ind.), who criticized Haitian President Rene Préval's
leadership during the crisis. "
President Préval's actions do not suggest a
departure from the self-destructive political behavior that has kept Haiti the
poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere," the report said. "If reforms ... do
not occur, American taxpayer investments in Haiti, beyond essential humanitarian
aid, should be reassessed."
Mr. Préval's office didn't respond to a call to
The censure, from the ranking Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations
Committee, marks the latest escalation between the Haitian government and its
principal foreign benefactor.
The U.S. has promised to deliver more than $2.8 billion to Haiti, but in recent
months concerns have grown among U.S. lawmakers that the money won't spur needed
changes like direct foreign investment.
A main concern, according to the report, has to do with the difficulty of
reconstructing Haiti's private sector.
Private enterprises suffered more than 70% of the Jan. 12 earthquake's total
damage, yet the country remains one of the Caribbean's most difficult in which
to begin a business due to government red tape, the report says. Haitian
entrepreneurs are hobbled by lack of credit in the country, and the Haitian
government has done little to change regulatory barriers, it says.
The report suggests the establishment of a fund administered by Haitian and
American bankers, underwritten with a U.S. government grant, to provide loans
for private businesses.
Mr. Préval hasn't been receptive to earlier
suggestions from the Senate. After Sen. Lugar recommended an international team
restructure Haiti's Provisional Electoral Council, which has been accused of
being loyal to the president, Mr. Préval rejected
the proposal, saying it would cause "anarchy."
The report warns that current efforts to rebuild Haiti could follow U.S.
attempts to aid the country which it called unsuccessful. Since 1990, the U.S.
has given roughly $4 billion in aid to Haiti, yet the effort has "not delivered
many improvements," the report said.
"U.S. leaders have been making very clear to the Government of Haiti that it
would be ill-advised to take the goodwill of the American people for granted,"
Sen. Lugar said in a written response to questions.
Write to Nicholas Casey at
Copyright 2009 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Reprinted from The Wall Street Journal
of Thursday, July 22, 2010.
|Wehaitians.com, the scholarly journal of
democracy and human rights