By the Caribbean Journal staff
May 21, 2014 | 5:01 am
The World Bank has approved a $58 million grant targeting improved access to local markets and services for agriculture in Haiti.
The grant from the International Development Association will reach about 190,000 rural producers, investors and members of agricultural organizations, the bank said in a release.
“The development of the Central Artibonite region will help fight against extreme poverty that represents the socio -economic situation for more than half the population in the region,” Haiti Finance and Economy Minister Marie-Carmelle Jean-Marie said in a statement. “It is aligned with the Government’s efforts to diversify the sources of wealth in the region and develop its potential.”
The Artibonite region is a crucial hub in Haiti, connecting the poles of Port-au-Prince, Cap-Haitien and the Dominican Republic to the east, with agriculture a major economic driver for the area.
“Nearly 80 percent of traffic is by land in Haiti,” said Mary Barton-Dock, the World Bank’s Special Envoy to Haiti. “Enhancing connectivity for producers by allowing them to move and have access to other economic centers whatever the climatic conditions will have a decisive impact on the economic growth of the region. All-weather roads are also a key asset for investors.”
The project will include the rehabilitation of 180 kilometres of rural and non-rural roads, the training of 300 local officials in makret management and “climate resilience measures” along with the rehabilitation of 10 rural and urban markets.
The five-year project, which will be implemented by the technical execution unit of Haiti’s Ministry of Economy and Finance, includes $50 million from the IDA and $8 million from the Strategic Climate Fund.