Miami Herald Reports On Haiti Aid ‘Frustrations’

“A simmering dispute with the World Bank and reconstruction leaders is threatening the pace of rebuilding efforts in Haiti,” reports the Miami Herald. The paper reports that nearly seven months after the country’s devastating earthquake, “only 18 percent” of the $5.3 billion pledged by international donors “has been disbursed.”

Former President Bill Clinton and Haitian President Jean-Max Bellerive, co-chairs of the Interim Haiti Reconstruction Commission, “have been expressing frustrations not just with donors,” who have not followed through on pledges, “but also with the World Bank – the trustee in charge of managing a multidonor trust fund dedicated to the reconstruction.” According to the newspaper, both leaders “say that the fees charged by the bank” for administering the donor money is “too high for small-scale projects” and the Bank’s procedures are “too bureaucratic and further threaten to slow down the rebuilding by adding months to the approval process.”

The issues are “expected to come up” next week when two World Bank leaders will “visit Haiti to meet with Bellerive and others to review progress.” According to the Miami Herald: “The World Bank visit comes as concerns mount in the U.S. Congress over rebuilding efforts in Haiti and at a time when hundreds of millions of U.S. dollars are becoming available for Haiti.”

The article includes comments from Pamela Cox, the World Bank’s vice president for Latin America and the Carribean, who said, “The last thing any of us want to see is a whole bunch of money going into Haiti and nobody knows where it went or what it results in.” Cox also “said the bank’s goal is to balance results and the need for accountability,” and discussed Haiti’s need for “carefully planned” infrastructure (Clark/Charles, 8/3).

Senate Passes Bill To Ease Haitian Adoptions

Congressional Quarterly reports that the Senate passed a bill that would “clarify rules to help ease the process for children born in Haiti to be adopted in the United States.” The legislation (HR 5283) would grant up to 1,400 orphans permanent residency in the United States if “certain conditions are met.” CQ reports that the original bill passed in the House on July 20 and could be cleared when the House reconvenes for a special session next week (Lesniewski, 8/4).

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