Haiti

New jobs, schools, and roads for Haiti in first year of Interim Cooperation Framework

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Security and stability for elections and new school year are critical challenges

Joint Committee for the Implementation and Monitoring of the Interim Cooperation Framework (COCCI)

PORT-AU-PRINCE, July 12, 2005 -- Nearly 200 schools rehabilitated, 300 km of rehabilitated and new roads, and tens of thousands of jobs are among the achievements of the Interim Cooperation Framework, Haiti's economic, social and political recovery program supported by international donors, highlighted today by the Joint Committee for the Implementation and Monitoring of the Interim Cooperation Framework (COCCI).

The COCCI today presented a list of results of the Interim Cooperation Framework (ICF) and announced that a more comprehensive evaluation would be the topic of an upcoming workshop on the anniversary of international conference on Haiti held on July 19-20 2004, in Washington, D.C., where donors pledged US$1.1 billion to support Haiti's transition program. The upcoming workshop would also focus on the post-ICF period and the preparation of a longer-term Poverty Reduction Strategy to be discussed with a new Haitian Government after the elections in the fall.

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

The Interim Cooperation Framework is focused on promoting a process of national reconciliation and a coordinated response to Haiti's urgent and medium term development needs. These have been organized around four priority areas for action: 1) Improving political governance and promoting national dialogue; 2) strengthening economic governance and promoting institutional development; 3) promoting economic recovery and institutional development; and 4) improving access to basic services and humanitarian aid. As part of the coordination structure, sectoral tables have been organized to meet regularly to exchange information and coordinate activities between government, donors and non-governmental organizations in all the sectors covered under the ICF. The government and international donors reaffirmed their commitment to the ICF at conferences held in Cayenne in March 2005 and in Montreal in June 2005.

Among the many achievements of the ICF, electricity services have been maintained, albeit at varying levels, both in and outside of Port-au-Prince, streets are regularly cleaned in many neighborhoods, water services have been restored and maintained, and school materials were distributed to ensure a successful school year. Jobs were created in a number of sectors, including for road works, agriculture and local development projects. Storms last year resulted in two major flooding disasters for which significant financial, technical and security resources were mobilized in the North and Southeast departments. In addition, the government has increased transparency in how public resources are used -- for example by establishing an anti-corruption unit and involving civil society in the preparation of the budget. On the security and electoral fronts, 2,300 new police officers have been recruited, and an ambitious electoral registration process has been launched.

These achievements need to be consolidated and expanded if Haiti is to make significant progress in the battle against poverty, unemployment, insecurity and political instability. For example, the gains in electricity coverage need to be consolidated; many hundred thousands more jobs need to be created, roads that will link the capital with the potential breadbaskets of the Northeast need to built or rehabilitated; and schools and children need to be prepared and supported for the start of the next school year. Yet, achieving these objectives is made more challenging today because of the increase in violence and insecurity in parts of Port-au-Prince.

Reiterating the importance of democratic elections and a peaceful transition to a newly-elected government in February 2006, the representatives of the COCCI condemned criminals and gang members who have been seeking to destabilize the country, undermine elections, and forestall the return to security in Haiti, noting that neither the government nor the international community will give in to intimidation or pressure in their efforts to help create a better future for the people of Haiti.

"While the pace of financial disbursements is one indicator of how the ICF is progressing, equally important is the qualitative progress such as the simplification by some donors of their procedures for Haiti, as well as the country's ability to use funds effectively," said Henri Bazin, Minister of Economy and Finance. "One of the most valuable things that we can give 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."

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 four pillars of the ICF. Highlights of the results on the ground are presented in the attached list of ICF achievements. This represents only some of the results that have been identified. A formal evaluation of the program is underway that will take a more exhaustive look at how the ICF has performed over the past year.

"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.

The COCCI will be presenting the detailed results of the evaluation of the ICF at a workshop at the end of July.

The Joint Committee for the Implementation and Monitoring of the Interim Cooperation Framework is chaired by the Prime Minister and includes the Minister of Economy and Finance, the Minister of Planning and External Cooperation, and representatives of three Haitian civil society organizations (the Civil Society Initiative, Groupe Groissance and the Professional Association of Artisans) and six international aid agencies (the Canadian International development Agency, the European Commission, the Inter-American Development Bank, the UN Development Program, the US Agency for International Development, and the World Bank).

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