Published On: Wed, Sep 23rd, 2015

World Bank wants new social contract to promote opportunities for all Haitians

haiti-palacePORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti - A new World Bank Group report is cautioning that faster economic growth alone will not be enough to improve the living standards of most Haitians, and proposes key priorities for rebuilding the social contract between the state and citizens.

The document, ‘Haiti: Towards a New Narrative’, notes the progress made in reducing extreme poverty and maintaining macroeconomic stability.

“Following the earthquake, Haiti experienced its best performance in decades with a real growth rate averaging 3.3 per cent from 2011 to 2014, partly spurred by high levels of reconstruction aid. However, this growth is faltering and will not be sufficient for Haiti to achieve its vision of becoming an emerging economy by 2030 and improve life for its poorest citizens,” said Mary Barton-Dock, World Bank Special Envoy in Haiti.

“Haiti is at a cross road and this diagnostic identifies key priority areas for action to generate opportunities for all Haitians.”

The authors highlight that, on one hand, the state struggles to provide adequate services for its citizens or a favourable climate for business and, on the other
Hand, few pay taxes.

In the absence of the state, non-state actors have stepped in: In health, about 50 per cent of health expenditures are provided by NGOs and 80 per cent of primary and secondary schools are run by private institutions or NGOs.

As Haiti is in the midst of legislative, presidential and municipal elections five years after the 2010 earthquake, the report aims to promote a debate around the social contract.

Additional priorities include: maintaining the stability of the macroeconomic environment; supporting the creation of more and better jobs; and reducing vulnerabilities and building resilience.

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