"IMF Cancels $268 Million in Haiti's Debt, Approves New Loan"
BusinessWeek (July 21, 2010)
"The International Monetary Fund agreed to cancel Haiti's $268 million outstanding debt to the institution and approved a loan to boost central bank reserves as the country rebuilds its economy after a January earthquake.
"The decisions came four months after donors pledged $5.26 billion to Haiti's reconstruction. The $60 million, three-year loan, which bears no interest until the end of 2011, will help the central bank manage potential currency volatility as donor funds flow in, the Washington-based IMF said in an e-mailed release.
" 'Donors must start delivering on their promises to Haiti quickly so reconstruction can be accelerated, living standards quickly improved, and social tensions soothed, IMF Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn said in the statement...."
"Where's the money for Haiti gone?"
mirror.co.uk (July 25, 2010)
"The world pledged £3.4billion for victims, but six months on just 2% of the cash has been given out
"When the heartbreaking images of the devastation caused by the massive earthquake in Haiti appeared on TV screens across the globe, the world pledged £3.41billion in aid.
"But six months on from the January 12 quake a Sunday Mirror investigation can reveal how the victims are being forgotten...because just TWO per cent of the money has arrived....
"...And because businesses aren't up and running again yet, looting is common – making the make-shift camps a breeding ground for criminals.
"Today UK charities warn that the rescue mission is descending into chaos, leaving thousands facing death.
"Donors are refusing to hand over their cash until the Haiti government comes up with a plan detailing exactly how the aid will be spent.
"But Haiti can't do that until the money arrives, condemning people there to a hellish future...."
I'm not sure why Haitian authorities can't figure out what they'll do with money until they have it in hand: but the bottom line is that Haitians who aren't government officials need help.
Want to blame America for the earthquake? Or at least for Haitian authorities not knowing how they'll spend pledged money? This may help:
"Haitian immigrants need expedited entry"
San Antonio Express-News Editorial Board (July 22, 2010)
"Pledges from individuals and governments to help the people of Haiti are a distant memory. Aid to rebuild the impoverished nation is trickling in.
"Six months after a devastating earthquake took as many as 300,000 lives, the world has moved on. Donor nations committed to send $5.3 billion at a March aid conference. CNN reports less than 2 percent of that aid has actually been delivered. Of the $1.15 billion American pledge, nothing has yet been paid.
"The humanitarian catastrophe in Haiti, however, continues.
"The U.S. funds are tied up in the congressional appropriations process. Even if they were released today, it would take weeks, perhaps months, before the funds would make it through the international bureaucracy to the people who actually need it.
"That needs to be done. But there's an immediate way the United States can provide direct humanitarian relief — by expediting the entry of 55,000 Haitian visa candidates who already have relatives in the United States...."
More immigrants? I don't see a problem with that - but then, I'm half-Irish, and know my family history. I wouldn't be here today: if America hadn't let some socially-dubious folks in.
The Lemming Opines: Not Waiting for the GovernmentHaiti is the poorest country in the western hemisphere - and the folks who weren't among the roughly 300,000 killed in January's quake need help - now.
The American Congress may get through its appropriation process, Haitian authorities may decide to say how they plan to spend other people's money before they have it in hand: but Haitians who aren't with the government need help yesterday.
There's a link to a smorgasbord of charitable institutions, at the end of this post. I'd like to single out one that's affiliated with an outfit that's bigger and older than the United States of America.
Catholic Relief Services