IMF says Haiti economy recovering
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, Thursday May 12, 2011 – Just over a year after the earthquake that devastated Haiti, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is reporting that the country’s economy is looking up.
Indicators of improved performance, following the first review under the Extended Credit Facility (ECF) arrangement with the IMF, have earned the Caribbean nation another US$13.1 million from the Washington-based financial institution.
The IMF said the completion of the review yesterday would enable the immediate disbursement of the funds, bringing total payments under the ECF to about US$26.2 million.
“The authorities are to be commended for their good policy implementation, despite the challenging international and domestic environments. The Haitian economy is recovering, and just over a year after the devastating earthquake, essential state functions have been reinstated and prudent macroeconomic policies have helped support growth and contain inflation to single digit levels,” said IMF Deputy Managing Director and Acting Chair Naoyuki Shinohara.
“The economic outlook is favorable, provided that the authorities and the international community make concerted efforts to accelerate the reconstruction and facilitate the transition from disaster recovery to policies aimed at ensuring high and sustained growth and poverty reduction.”
It is within that context, Shinohara said, that the disbursement of donor pledges together with the authorities’ timely implementation of structural reforms, notably in the areas of economic governance and the business environment are equally important.
The IMF official noted that the aim for Haitian authorities this fiscal year is to consolidate the recovery and reconstruction efforts, raise domestic revenue, contain current expenditure and align the budget to support the reconstruction priorities and poverty-reduction spending in the context of sustainable public financing.
“These fiscal commitments will need to be complemented by further improvements in public financial management and economic governance,” he said.
Haiti’s ECF arrangement was approved on July 21, 2010 along with the full relief of the country’s outstanding US$268 million debt to the IMF. Both decisions formed part of a broad strategy to support Haiti’s longer term reconstruction plans, following the January 12, 2010 earthquake.
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