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Home Publications Blogs Haiti: Relief and Reconstruction Watch The State Department's 10+ Year Plan for Haiti's Development

The State Department's 10+ Year Plan for Haiti's Development

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Thursday, 11 February 2010 19:15
The Miami Herald reported today that it has seen a copy of a U.S. plan - drafted by Secretary Clinton’s staff, and which the U.S. has presented to the Haitian government – for both Haiti’s short term and long-term relief and development.

The short-term is 18 months. This is the period of time over which an Interim Haiti Recovery Commission, which the plan calls for, would oversee the “urgent early recovery”. The long term is 10 years. This is at least for how long the plan’s “Haitian Development Authority” would “coordinate billions in foreign assistance.”

The article reads
The plan, obtained by The Miami Herald, states that the commission could be co-chaired by the Haitian prime minister and ``a distinguished senior international figure engaged in the recovery effort.''
And goes on to speculate that Bill Clinton could likely be the other co-chair.

The article also reports that the plan proposes a trust fund through which donors would “channel” their money. (Canada’s proposal to have the World Bank fulfill this role is also mentioned.)

Jeffrey Sachs is cited voicing skepticism over the non-Haitian co-overseer role:
"We should not see this as a U.S. political effort but a multilateral one,'' he said. ``It clearly should be the Haitian government alone. It shouldn't have a mixed membership of the president and international figures.''
The article also hints that the plan is not new; that it may have been in the works before the earthquake:
[Robert Maguire, a Haiti expert who is a professor at Trinity Washington University and chair of the U.S. Institute of Peace's Haiti Working Group], who has not read the State Department document, said the plan sounds similar to an idea that Hillary Clinton was considering long before the earthquake. Her office has sought over the past several months to better coordinate assistance to Haiti, which remains impoverished despite billions of dollars in foreign aid.
Also worth noting, and not news to veteran Haiti observers, is that prioritizing the military over humanitarian needs - as was characteristic of the U.S. approach during the first few weeks following the quake - is not new. It may also help to explain part of why Haiti "remains impoverished despite" so much aid money:
In recent years, the country has received about $1.2 billion in foreign aid, half of which has gone to peacekeeping and just 25 percent -- $30 per Haitian citizen -- for development.
Read the full article here.
 

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