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14/03/2008 - 10:36

IDB commends Haiti on progress toward debt relief

IDB president Luis Alberto Moreno commended Haiti on its progress towards reaching the completion point necessary to secure debt relief by the end of this year.

Moreno's comments came after a visit to Haiti last weekend during which he met with Haitian president René Préval, who updated an IDB delegation on the island's progress. The high-level delegation included the Bank's Executive Vice President Daniel Zelikow; its Vice President for Countries, Otaviano Canuto; its Vice President for Private Sector and Non-Sovereign Guaranteed Operations, Steven Puig; and the General Manager for the Caribbean, Dora Currea.

Haitian authorities indicated that the country is on schedule to achieve commitments made under the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) initiative, including those established under the three-year Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility (PRGF), approved in 2006 by the IMF.

Once Haiti reaches the completion point under the HIPC initiative, the country will receive debt relief from the IDB in the amount of US$525 million, in addition to the US$20 million of interim relief granted on principal repayments for 2007 and 2008

The Bank's portfolio in Haiti consists of 22 programs for a total of US$662 million. In 2007, program disbursements reached US$114.4 million, almost double the 2006 level.

Looking ahead, IDB support to Haiti will focus on four priority areas that have been identified with country authorities: transportation and electricity infrastructure, agriculture, education and economic governance.

In addition, the IDB is actively pursuing co-financing and complementary grant resources in order to increase the level of funding in the four priority areas which are key to support Haiti's poverty reduction strategy. To date, the IDB has mobilized more than US$100 million in complementary grant resources from Canada, US$22.6 million from OPEP, US$6.7 million from the European Union, and US$3 million from Spain. The Bank has established a special grant facility for Haiti in order to channel grant resources in the future.

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