PORT AU PRINCE, Haiti – The World Bank’s Country Director for the Caribbean, Lilia Burunciuc, recently concluded a five-day visit to Haiti, accompanied by Robert Taliercio, the regional director of the Global Practice Equitable Growth, Finance, and Institutions (EFI) and members of the team working in Haiti, including the Country Manager, Laurent Msellati.
During her first visit to Haiti, Burunciuc met with key government officials, including prime minister Dr Ariel Henry, members of civil society organizations, other international development partners, representatives from the private sector and other stakeholders.
The World Bank pledged to continue its strong support to the country while sharing its concerns about the significant socio-economic impact of the multiple crises, including the protracted socio-political tensions, deterioration of the security situation and COVID-19 pandemic.
“Haiti faces deep governance, structural and environmental challenges which are not easy to address but during the visit I found many reasons to be positive about the future progress,” said Lilia Burunciuc, World Bank Country Director for the Caribbean. “I assured the country leadership of the World Bank’s continued commitment to successful implementation of projects for the reconstruction and resilience of Haiti, including the region affected by the recent earthquake.”
Following the earthquake on August 14, the World Bank has mobilized US$200 million to address food security challenges and support the government of Haiti’s post-earthquake recovery and reconstruction program. An additional US$98 million has been committed from the existing World Bank project portfolio, through the reallocation of funds and the amendment of ongoing contracts, to support emergency repairs to shelters, roads, water systems and urgent social and health services, as well as to finance cash transfers to the most vulnerable.
As part of the immediate earthquake response, the World Bank is financing the construction of a temporary bridge over the Grand’Anse River to supplement the Dumarsais Estimé bridge which was severely damaged by the earthquake. The bridge will reconnect the population of the Grand’Anse department to the rest of the country. At the government’s request, the World Bank also worked with other development partners to produce a post-disaster needs assessment to estimate the extent of the damage and to chart a path to recovery.
This visit was also an opportunity for the World Bank officials to engage with various stakeholders about the country’s constraints to socio-economic development and discuss promising areas and opportunities for Haiti’s economic growth and progress.