The World Bank says more than 350,000 people in rural Haiti will benefit from improved access to all weather roads, local markets and health centers in the South, South East and Nippes departments as a result of a new US$ 75 million grant from the bank’s International Development Association (IDA). The Washington-based financial institution said its board of executive directors approved the grant last Thursday.
The World Bank said about 61 percent of Haiti’s population lived further than 2 kilometers from an all-weather road in 2015, adding that most rural roads remain in very poor condition and barely passable.
To develop the road network and achieve intercity connectivity by 2021, the bank said that the Haitian government has set “an ambitious target” to build 4,000 kilometers of roads.
The “Haiti Rural Accessibility and Resilience project” will rehabilitate “critical segments of the rural road network, improving road conditions and road safety in these areas,” the World Bank said.
“This will particularly benefit vulnerable communities, including women traders who travel extensively for the livelihoods of their families,” it added.
The World Bank said the second project, ‘Improving Haiti’s Public Financial Management and Statistical Information,’ “focuses on strengthening Haiti’s capacity to produce, disseminate, and use more accurate and timely budgetary and financial data.”
Financed by an IDA grant of US$15 million, the bank said the project it will help improve budget management and oversight “by putting in place an Integrated Financial Information Management System, strengthening public financial management institutions, such as the Court of Accounts, the Procurement Board, and the Anti-Corruption Agency, and will support citizen engagement in the use of public resources.”
Anabela Abreu, World Bank Country Director for Haiti, said the two grants “will make a difference for people in Haiti.
“Roads are windows of opportunity that transform people’s lives, as well as the economy,” she said. “Better budget and accounting systems are key to improve service delivery for all citizens and strengthen transparency and accountability. These are two important priorities for the government.”
The World Bank said the IDA helps the world’s poorest countries by providing grants and low to zero-interest loans for projects and programs that “boost economic growth, reduce poverty and improve poor people’s lives.”