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Towards economic reconstruction

From the International Liaison Office of President Aristide,
Update 21 June 1995

The government of Haiti recognizes the need to strengthen civil society as a fundamental component of economic reconstruction. Efforts to modernize and decentralize the State and to revitalize the economy will not improve the situation of Haiti's majority unless civil structures can be strengthened at the same time.

This is because the Haitian formal economy, which is concentrated mainly in Port-au-Prince, has employed less than 300,000 people (less than 5% of the population) even at its best moments. Over 70% of the population lives in the countryside. Thus economic revitalization will depend largely on the social and economic activities of the Haitian people and their civic organizations.

The pace of economic revitalization has been slow, since the return of President Aristide on October 15, 1994, for a number of reasons, including:

Economic revitalization is very much tied to the strengthening of Haitian democracy and the creation of a new social contract for the country. Key steps along the way are: 1) the June elections for Parliamentary and local officials, 2) the full deployment of a new, civilian Police force, and 3) advances in creating an effective judicial system and carrying out the work of the National Truth and Justice Commission.

Some of the governmental initiatives to revitalize and strengthen Haitian civil society, which was targeted for repression and devastated under the coup regime, include:

In addition, various government initiatives --the Economic and Social Assistance Fund (FAES); the Central Implementation Unit of the Prime Minister's Office; the Ministry of Public Works-- are beginning to advance more rapidly in implementation of basic infrastructure and job creation programs.