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USAID Aid for Haiti

Atwood meets with Aristide, signs balance of payments agreement

USAID Press Release listserv: Press Release: Monday 19 December 1994

Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide and J. Brian Atwood, Administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), met today at the Presidential Palace, and then signed a $15 million agreement to provide budget support to the government of Haiti. This Balance of Payments Agreement is the second installment of a program which will provide up to $45 million in payments support for the Government of Haiti, and is part of the $200 million the USAID has announced for Haiti in 1995.

The agreement signed at the palace is designed to increase foreign exchange availability in the early months of the restored democracy in Haiti. This $15 million will provide desperately needed budget support for essential government services and ministries depleted by the de facto regime. The grant provided by USAID may be used for the importation of petroleum or debt service, once Haiti's arrears have been paid.

At the signing ceremony in Port au Prince, Mr. Atwood said, President Aristide has many accomplishments since has returned to office only two short months ago. The effect of his leadership has had an immediate and visible impact, and there is still much more to come.

Mr. Atwood continued, This program will provide the resources necessary to allow the government ministries to get back up and running after three years of neglect. This effort is important in providing needed public sector services to the Haitian people.

The USAID Administrator is in Haiti for a three day trip to review the status of ongoing USAID programs in the country. His trip follows the successful Caribbean Latin American Action conference last week in Miami. During the meeting with President Aristide, the two discussed the development assistance provided by the U.S. government aid agency, the upcoming elections, and the triumphs and hurdles faced by the newly installed President.

The Haitian authorities have made a commitment that sound budgetary management practices will be reestablished, and fiscal balance will be restored as part of the assistance provided by USAID.