Better spending, better services - a review of public finances in Haiti

Produced by: 
The World Bank
Available from: 
June 2016
Paper author(s): 
The World Bank
Fiscal Policy - Public and Welfare Economics

The images of flattened buildings and tent cities that dominated the news following the Haitian earthquake of January 12, 2010 triggered an emergency response from the global aid and development community. Foreign governments, multilateral organizations including the World Bank, and NGOs dramatically increased the flow of funding to the devastated country. The money helped pay for emergency relief but also for higher public investment spending that sought to repair damage and press ahead with development projects that had begun before the disaster. Six years later, the flow of aid is declining, and Haiti faces pivotal challenges: how to adapt to the reductions, raise more resources internally, spend more efficiently, and safeguard the fragile social gains it has achieved in a time of extreme hardship. The infrastructure Haiti has acquired in the recent surge of investment is something like a newly built house that lacks furniture and running water, it may look good from the outside but does little for its occupants. For the present, life remains a struggle for most of the country’s 10.4 million people. Thus in addition to growth, the country needs policies that will foster inclusiveness. Analysis and past experience suggest that two factors are key: human capital and political stability. To achieve this goal, Haiti will require a new outlook favoring fair, efficient government and social inclusiveness.


Research section: 
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