Haiti - Reconstruction : 1.6% for SMEs in Haiti, 98.4% for Americans... - HaitiLibre.com : Haiti news 7/7





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Haiti - Reconstruction : 1.6% for SMEs in Haiti, 98.4% for Americans...
13/12/2010 14:17:17

Haiti - Reconstruction : 1.6% for SMEs in Haiti, 98.4% for Americans...
According to an analysis by The Associated Press, on the reconstruction contracts awarded by the United States since January 12, it appears that for every $100 awarded by the U.S. Government to an American company, only $1.60 are granted to SMEs Haitian...

On the 1.583 contracts awarded by the United States so far, amounting to $267 million, only 20 contracts totaling $4.3 million were awarded to companies Haitian. The companies of Virginia received the largest part of funds than any other state (45.3 million), followed by Maryland (44.6 million) and the District of Columbia (31.7 million)...

Among the reasons to try to explain this disparity: USAID (United States Agency for International Development) is more accustomed to working with American contractors, Haitian entrepreneurs would have a "limited understanding" of practices in use in U.S. government. Moreover, many requests from the U.S government near the Haitian subcontractors are published only in English, limiting the access for many Haitians who only speak creole. But other barriers to sign a contract with Haitians are invoked : abnormally high prices, corruption etc ... Janice Lawrence, spokeswoman for USAID said that "efforts are made with Haitian SMEs to make them aware of how they can partner with us".

It also appears that 25% of contracts went directly to American firms without tender, and therefore without providing an opportunity for SMEs Haitian to offer their services, because, supposedly, the need was urgent ... and there was not enough time to make a tender "formal"...

According to Clare Lockhart, chief executive of the Institute for State Effectiveness, the use of foreign aid to the profits of local companies is one of the most important aspects of reconstruction, "You can't just provide manual jobs. You need to contract with companies so that the middle tier managers and owners of companies have a stake in the legal system and rule of law, and ultimately a stake in the success of their political system and their economy".

Economists say giving contracts to local businesses creates jobs, which help build the private sector. Also, most donors would rather see local businesses thrive than foreign companies profiting from a disaster.

If we compare the economic benefits obtained by reconstruction contracts between Afghanistan (37%) with that of Haiti (1.6%) it is obvious that Haiti is at the lowest level of the scale in terms of economic impact at the enterprise level, as part of the country's reconstruction...

HL/ HaitiLibre

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