Specific projects have been defined and final details are expected to be provided in three months.
The submissions, once finalized, will be presented to the Interim Haitian Recovery Commission (IHRC) and other potential funding sources. This follows an appeal for assistance from Haiti to close the gap between current funding from international donor sources that are aimed mainly at long-term projects and the need identified by the Haitian government for funding for short-term projects and the strengthening of institutional capacity.
“Donors are looking for and prefer projects that have long-term potential, but our immediate needs are others,” said Haiti Prime Minister Jean Max Bellerive. “Therefore, we need to look at creative ways that will encourage donors to quickly fund and implement these projects.”
The consultations arose out of growing concerns within Haiti and CARICOM about the slow pace of the recovery program. It has been estimated that only three per cent of the funding approved by the IHRC for projects has been allocated to the Haitian government.
Bellerive said the majority of the debris removed so far has been at the sole expense of the state. In light of more attractive investments such as hospital construction and highway development, Bellerive expressed fears there would be no lasting monument commemorating the work to remove debris.
He suggested that a method be identified to tie rubble removal to construction-type projects to increase its attractiveness to potential investors.
Bellerive’s view drew support from CARICOM Special Representative to Haiti and former Jamaican prime minister, P.J. Patterson, who said many of the projects that have been funded so far do not represent Haiti’s priorities.
“As Special Representative for CARICOM and a friend of Haiti, I’m calling on the international community to amend this situation and redirect funds where they are mostly needed,” he said.
In order for CARICOM to best assist Haiti, Patterson called for the strengthening of the CARICOM office in Haiti as well as the Office of the Special Representative in Kingston.
Among the projects proposed by the consultations is the creation of a virtual office as an online portal that would link all stakeholders in the process and make information more readily available.
Following consultations held in Kingston, Jamaica, the Government of Haiti and representatives of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) have agreed on several project proposals designed to strengthen Haiti’s institutional and technical capacity in housing and settlement development, physical and environmental planning and infrastructure development and coordination.