Haiti: One year later

July 2005 - In the past year in Haiti, tens of thousands of new jobs have been created, nearly 200 schools have been rehabilitated and 300 kilometers of roads have been rebuilt.

The measures have been possible under Haiti's Interim Cooperation Framework (ICF) which sets out the country's urgent and medium term development goals.

While Haiti's interim government is recognizing this progress, it is also warning that after nearly 15 years of political, social and economic instability, Haiti still has a way to go on both the economic and security fronts to lift itself out of poverty.

"While we want to bring to the public's attention some of the small victories of the past year, for now, it remains absolutely essential that we also pave the way for safe, inclusive and credible elections in October and November, and we call on all Haitians and our international partners to continue working together to realize this goal," Prime Minister Gérard Latortue said.

The Interim Cooperation Framework (ICF) is Haiti's economic, social and political recovery program supported by international donors, including the World Bank. The ICF is focused on promoting national reconciliation and coordinating a response to Haiti's urgent and medium term development needs.

Donors pledged US$1.1 billion to support Haiti's transition program in July 2004.

Year of Progress

Donors estimate that some US$400 million has been disbursed, as of the end of May 2005, for political governance and dialogue, economic governance and institution building, economic recovery and access to basic services and humanitarian aid.

The country's achievements include:

  • Improving electricity services in Port-au-Prince and surrounding suburbs

  • Regular street cleaning in many neighborhoods

  • Providing microcredit to thousands of poor Haitians, especially women

  • Providing an additional 250,000 with clean water

  • Distributing more than 2 million school books to ensure a successful school year

  • Creating jobs in a number of sectors, including for road works, agriculture and local development projects

  • Recruiting 2,300 new police officers

  • Launching an ambitious electoral registration process

The government also has increased transparency in how public resources are used. It has established an anti-corruption unit and involved civil society in the preparation of the budget.

"One of the most valuable things that we have given this country is a legacy of improved economic governance, with more transparent and effective ways of doing business and tracking the use of public funds," said Henri Bazin, Minister of Economy and Finance.

For Haiti to make significant progress in its battle against poverty, unemployment, insecurity and political instability, much more needs to be done such as creating more jobs, improving infrastructure, especially roads, and preparing children for the new school year.

However, achieving these objectives is challenging because of the rise in violence and insecurity in parts of Port-au-Prince, as Haiti's prime minister has warned.

"It is imperative that the security situation be stabilized so that donors can deliver their aid programs and the people of Haiti can benefit," Prime Minister Latortue said.

Preparing for the Fall Elections

The ICF is continuing with its program while at the same time working to prepare the country for the elections that will take place this fall. A new government will take office in February.

"We are now focusing on how we can build upon the achievements of the ICF and ensure that all the appropriate structures are in place for the next government to effectively coordinate development aid and keep programs moving forward," said Roland Pierre, Minister of Planning and External Cooperation.