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Thursday, April 13, 2006 


Haiti: World Bank Approves $16 Million Grant to Improve Roads and Basic Infrastructure in Rural Areas
The new program will help small farmers by linking traditionally hard to reach areas


Press Release No:2006/355/LAC
Contact:
Stevan Jackson (202) 458 5054
mailto:mvandyck@worldbank.org

WASHINGTON, April 11, 2006 – The World Bank’s Board of Directors today approved a $16 million grant to promote income-generating opportunities for small farmers, who represent the majority of the rural productive population. The new project also aims to lower costs involved in moving goods from producer to consumer, especially for small farmers.

“Agriculture continues to play a dominant role in the Haitian economy accounting for two thirds of employment in rural areas, and three fourths of employment for poor people,” said Caroline Anstey, World Bank Country Director for the Caribbean. “Improving infrastructure so as to make it easier for small farmers to get their goods to market can generate important multiplier effects for the rest of the rural economy.”

Linking small farmers to markets can lower transactions costs and increase competitiveness, thereby helping them reap the highest returns from rural farmers’ limited resources. This project also aims to improve living standards in rural communities, and to improve access to basic services.

The Transport and Territorial Development Project has three key components:

° Improve road rehabilitation and maintenance of important transport corridors by connecting two key regions: the Dondon-St. Raphaël region, which covers five communes in the Northern Department, and is connected to Cap Haïtien the second biggest city in the country (production of coffee, vegetables, beans, corn and citrus peels; the Thiotte-Anse à Pitre region, which covers four communes in the South-Eastern Department (production of coffee, cattle and fishing).

° Territorial Development Window will put in place a process to prioritize and assess initiatives to promote growth.. This component, which is a consultative process with local stakeholders, will be used to identify priorities.

° Project administration, monitoring and evaluation: This component would finance expenditures for environmental management, monitoring and evaluation as well as the project's impact evaluation.

“The project has been designed to empower local stakeholders and communities in decision-making,” said Nicolas Peltier-Thiberge, World Bank Infrastructure Economist and Task Team Leader for the project. “Strong local oversight and participation will continue to be central to ensure both the appropriateness of local investments and their sustainability, particularly in the case of road maintenance.”

Haiti remains primarily a rural and agricultural country, with almost 5 million of Haiti’s 8.6 million people living in rural areas, and approximately 60 percent of the rural population earns less than US$1 a day.

The Bank’s activities in Haiti are outlined in a Transitional Support Strategy (TSS) prepared in 2004 and endorsed by its Board in January 2005. The TSS presents the Bank’s two-year program aimed at delivering hope to the population and restore credibility in public institutions by helping the Interim Government provide basic services, create jobs, and launch reforms that promote longer-term economic governance and institutional development. The Bank is committed to a long-term engagement in Haiti.

This project was made possible by an International Development Association (IDA)-funded grant of US$16.0 million.

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For more information about this project, visit the project web site.

For more information, please visit
http://www.worldbank.org/ht


© 2006 The World Bank Group, All Rights Reserved.

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