An International Monetary Fund (IMF) delegation is ending a two week visit to Haiti on Friday after discussing support for measures to ease poverty, encourage good governance, raise growth and stabilize the country’s economic situation through an Extended Fund Facility (EFF).
“I am pleased to announce that in support of the government and the people of Haiti, we, the IMF, the Haitian government and the Central Bank of Haiti (Banque de la République d’Haiti (BRH)) have reached an IMF staff-level agreement on a concessional zero per cent, three-year loan of US$ 229 million for Haiti,” said Chris Walker, who led the delegation.
“This agreement will have to be approved by the IMF’s Executive Board, which is expected to consider Haiti’s request in the coming weeks,” he added.
He said the agreement is aimed at helping Haiti overcome its current fragile state, and alleviating the hardship of the most vulnerable.
“We have placed social protection firmly at the center of the accord, and once the agreed measures are successfully implemented, the poorest in Haiti will be among the first to benefit in a tangible way. The programme provides money for a variety of social protection measures ranging from school feeding, through targeted cash transfers, to money for social housing,” walker said.
He said that priority has also been given to the fight against corruption and improvements in governance. “The IMF backs the government’s aim of state reform. In its agreement, it has drawn up measurable targets to boost this fight with the goal of injecting greater transparency into the management of public finances, tax and revenue administration, as well as expenditure control.”
Walker said that to enable Haiti to return to macroeconomic stability, the loan represents 100 per cent of quota, and the money will be disbursed over the three years of the programme which is subject to regular Executive Board and staff reviews.
“The loan is offered under the IMF’s Extended Credit Facility (ECF) which allows lending at concessional rates and is aimed at stabilizing Haiti’s economy by putting its budget deficit on a downward trajectory and managing its debt, while protecting the poorest in the country.”
Walker said that the visit also encompassed the IMF’s Article IV consultation, or its regular check of the health of the country’s economy.
He said real growth remains near its four-year average of 1.5 per cent.
“The country has been facing severe financing constraints while political turbulence has discouraged private investment and limited action on needed fiscal reform. Under the programme, we expect that financial constraints will be relaxed, allowing for faster growth.
“We at the IMF are ready to partner with Haiti on its economic revitalization. We will also encourage other multilateral agencies and countries to support the country. We have talked to partner agencies and they are willing to help. It would also be very helpful for Haiti’s bilateral partners to step forward at this critical time, “Walker added.