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PRESS RELEASE

WB/Haiti: Two New Grants Approved

May 21, 2013

  • 1.8 million women/children to access improved health services
  • Business climate improvements and Integrated Economic Zones to generate new private investment and growth

WASHINGTON, May 21, 2013 – About 1.8 million women and children will benefit from a grant from the International Development Association (IDA) approved today by the Board of Directors of the World Bank. The US$70 million grant will increase access to maternal and child basic health services, while the whole economy will benefit from another grant for US$20 million, which will improve the country’s business climate to attract private investment and generate growth.

Three-and-a-half years after the earthquake, Government and partners are shifting their focus to lifting the structural bottlenecks that hamper Haiti’s long-term development. These projects aim to improve Haiti’s outlook for the future by improving the health status of Haitian families, building a stronger health system, creating jobs and jumpstarting sustainable growth,” said Alexandre V. Abrantes, the World Bank’s Special Envoy to Haiti.

The US$70 million Improving Maternal and Child Health through Integrated Social Services Project will increase access to and use of maternal and child health, nutrition and social services in at least three Departments: West, Northeast and Central Plateau. The project, which is co-financed by a US$20 million grant from the Multi-donor Trust Fund for Health Results Innovation, will benefit 1.8 million people, including pregnant women, children under five and vulnerable families.

Specifically, the project will:

  • Provide 450,000 women access to free reproductive health services, including family planning, prenatal care, delivery services, and breast-feeding support.
  • Provide more than 1 million people with preventive and basic curative services for cholera, diarrhea, tuberculosis, and other childhood diseases, as well as 180,000 children under five with immunizations and vitamin supplements.
  • Support the Government of Haiti to set-up a mechanism for contracting existing health facilities to provide services at a quality standard of care.
  • Provide support to the most vulnerable families in the project area through a network of community agents (Kore Fanmi), who will deliver basic nutrition and social services, and refer them to health and other service providers.

The second project approved today for US$20 million -Business Development and Investment Project- will foster economy-wide business environment reforms, in order to spur local and foreign private investment and job creation in light manufacturing, apparel, tourism and agribusiness, among others.

The project includes a plan to support the growth of micro, small and medium enterprises by simplifying procedures to obtain operational licenses and certifications, as well as improving access to finance and transparency in competition. The project will also improve the regulatory and institutional framework governing Integrated Economic Zones (IEZs), and assist the government in the preparation of feasibility studies for at least one new IEZ outside of Port-au-Prince.


By providing training and technical assistance, the project will build the capacity of micro, small and medium enterprises and help them increase production volume, standardize products, reduce costs and increase income through investment grants.

About the World Bank/Haiti:

The World Bank Group supports government efforts to reduce the country’s vulnerability to natural disasters, reconstruct critical infrastructure, build human capital, promote decentralized and inclusive growth, and strengthen governance. Continuing technical and financial support in key areas, such as service delivery and investment for growth, is of the outmost importance for the country's reconstruction and long-term development. With this in mind, the International Development Association (IDA) allocated US$500 million to Haiti for the 2012-2014 period, of which US$385 million have been provided to date in form of investment projects and development policy grants.

 

Media Contacts
In Washington

Patricia da Camara
tel :  + 1 (202) 473 4019

In Port-au-Prince

Berdine Edmond
tel : + (509) 3106-4831

PRESS RELEASE NO:
2013/407/LAC