July 28, 2011
A Failing Report Card for the Haiti Reconstruction Fund

To date only 38% of the money pledged by donor countries in May 2010 for Haiti’s reconstruction has been sent and only 10% of the total aid conveyed to the Haiti Reconstruction Fund has been spent on the ground in Haiti.

 

The Center for Economic and Policy Research published yesterday an analysis of the annual report of the Haiti Reconstruction Fund (HRF), the funding arm of the Interim Haiti Recovery Commission (IHRC).  The HRF was designed to receive international aid not already tied to grants/contracts for specific NGOs or projects, so that funding gaps could be filled at the discretion of the HRF steering committee.  Grants from the HRF may only be for projects already approved by the IHRC (a voting body half-Haitian and half representing the largest donor nations.)  The HRF mechanism requires that funding flow from it through one of three oversight agencies (“Partner Entities”) — namely, the World Bank, Inter-American Development Bank or the UN — and then to implementing organizations or government ministries.

 

The bottom line, as CEPR discerns, is that while 20% of foreign aid to Haiti has gone to the Haiti Reconstruction Fund, totaling $351 million, and 70% of that has been transferred or is in the pipeline for transfer to the three oversight agencies, only 10% of the total aid received has been spent on actual projects.  Read this again:  only $35 million out of $351 million given by 19 international donor countries has been spent to rebuild Haiti — after eighteen months!!!

 

The good news is that “according to the annual report, the Haitian government is the implementing partner for 88.4 percent of HRF funds,” fulfilling an oft-heard mantra to equip and “accompany the Haitian government” in managing the rebuilding process.  In fact 23% of the monies received by the Government of the Haiti came via the HRF.

 

For the rich analysis by CEPR of the Haiti Reconstruction Fund annual report see:  http://www.cepr.net/index.php/blogs/relief-and-reconstruction-watch/inside-the-haiti-reconstruction-fund-annual-report

 

Thanks to Alexander Main of the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, DC, a member of the Haiti Advocacy Working Group, for this invaluable analysis.