The World Bank strategy balances reconstruction needs with long-term economic development. Reconstruction work focuses on housing and electricity. In housing, the neighborhood reconstruction approach is being used, which includes infrastructure improvements in neighborhoods along with housing repair and reconstruction and rental subsidies, to facilitate return of displaced persons from camps into neighborhoods. In the electricity sector, support is centered on increasing access and quality of service, improving management of the public electricity utility, and reducing Government transfers over time.
Beyond reconstruction, the World Bank Group supports government efforts to reduce its vulnerability to natural disasters, reconstruct critical infrastructure, build human capital, promote decentralized and inclusive growth, and strengthen governance.
Investment operations in disaster risk management to improve nation-wide disaster response capacity and enhance the resiliency of critical transport infrastructure are complemented by strategic use of trust fund resources (Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery), which has led to building codes for public building as well as a multi-hazard assessment following the earthquake. To support the building of human capital, the Bank finances tuition waivers and school feeding for children in primary schools, as well as improvements in the quality of education. It also finances health services for mothers and children under 5, referrals and waivers for health services to vulnerable people in remote areas, and cholera prevention education and treatment.
To help revitalize the economy in a way that incorporates inclusive growth and decentralization, the Bank finances improved agriculture public services to increase yields and rural incomes, small scale, local infrastructure using a community-driven approach, and is investing in regional growth poles and working closely with the IFC to improve the business environment and create jobs.
Through budget support, the Bank has helped the government close its fiscal deficit and continues to support its effort to reform public financial management, increasing the transparency and efficiency of public spending.
Improving governance and building government capacity is a cross-cutting theme of the World Bank program. All of the projects focus on strengthening the role of State institutions, including building capacity to set effective public policies and deliver services to the people. The Bank program also contributes to this objective by providing all of its financing to the State.
In response to the earthquake of 2010, the World Bank’s fund to support the poorest countries, the International Development Association, made an exceptional allocation of US$500 million to Haiti, which is many times more than the normal allocation. Of this amount, US$405 million is already at Government’s disposal in the form of ongoing projects. The remaining US$95M is expected to be approved by the Board in the first half of 2014.
The Haiti portfolio consists of 15 projects for a total commitment of $685.7 million, of which $245.1 million have been disbursed. Since the earthquake, the Bank has disbursed an average $8.3 million per month and the disbursement ratio at 9.3 percent is higher than the regional average of 6.5 percent.
Support for the private sector
The investment climate in Haiti is hampered by a number of challenges including business environment, land availability and ownership rights, access to basic infrastructure, logistic and financial services, and access to skills.
IFC’s strategy in Haiti is twofold:
- Creating immediate jobs, access to basic infrastructure, and income opportunities by making catalytic investments despite remaining challenges;
- Supporting the development of a sustainable and inclusive economy, through advisory programs that help address challenges and foster a more conducive environment for investors and for micro, small, and medium enterprises.
Since the January 2010 earthquake, IFC has committed six new investment transactions and significantly scaled up its advisory operations. To date,
IFC’s portfolio amounts to $78 million, including $26 million mobilized from other partners. IFC’s combined investment and advisory projects in Haiti have helped create 5,000 new jobs and safeguard 5,000 existing jobs.
IFC Advisory Services in Haiti has supported the business training of nearly 3,000 entrepreneurs and managers (of which 45% were women), through partner SOFIHDES.
MiCRO, an IFC Advisory Services project, will help to insure 70,000 micro-entrepreneurs against natural disasters.
Haiti Reconstruction Fund (HRF)
The HRF has emerged as the largest source of flexible finance for the reconstruction.
At the request of the Government of Haiti, the World Bank established the Haiti Reconstruction Fund (HRF) in March 2010, in partnership with the Inter-American Development Bank and the United Nations. The World Bank serves as the Fund’s trustee, as well as, secretariat and supervises some of the activities financed by the HRF. Contributions to the HRF total $396 million, of which $381 million has been received. Since the Fund began operation in June 2010, $288 million has been allocated to 19 projects.