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Haiti - UN : The Haitian economy is likely to sink deeper into the recession
24/02/2020 08:12:13

Haiti - UN : The Haitian economy is likely to sink deeper into the recession
During the Security Council session on the United Nations Integrated Office (UNINH) on February 20, Helen La Lime, the Special Representative of the UN Secretary General to the country took stock of the situation in Haiti, immersed in a political deadlock since 2018 which has paralyzed the functioning of Haitian institutions, afflicted the economy and fueled persistent insecurity.

Extract from Helen La Lime's speech :
"[...] Over the course of the past months, I have worked alongside the Special Representative of the Secretary-General of the Organization of American States and the Apostolic Nuncio in Haiti to create an environment conducive to a negotiated resolution to the crisis, one that would catalyze a reform effort aimed at restoring the population’s confidence in the State, ensuring that the most vulnerable receive much-needed basic services, and laying the groundwork for the timely holding of elections.

During two rounds of negotiations held at the Representation of the Holy See in Haiti in mid-December 2019 https://www.haitilibre.com/en/news-29551-haiti-flash-crisis-failure-of-the-mediation-to-the-apostolic-nunciature.html and late January 2020 https://www.haitilibre.com/en/news-29925-haiti-flash-failure-of-the-political-conference-for-a-way-out-of-the-crisis.html , a consensus emerged on the contours of a political agreement articulated around four elements: the criteria for the formation of a government; the contents of a reform agenda; the sequencing of a constitutional reform process; and the definition of an electoral calendar. Despite progress regarding the nature of the reforms to be undertaken, including that of the Constitution, political actors have yet to settle on a formula that would lead to the designation by President Moïse of a consensual Prime Minister and the formation of a new government.

The lack of agreement on this matter, as well as on the remaining length of President Moïse’s term, threatens to needlessly prolong a situation that has already lasted too long. Haiti is about to enter in its second year with a caretaker government, its economy is forecast to sink deeper into recession, and 4.6 million of its citizens are now estimated to require humanitarian assistance. The effects of the strained economy and the prolonged political polarization risk further affecting the integrity and effectiveness of key institutions, such as the Haitian National Police. To avoid a greater deterioration, Haitian leaders need to rise to the occasion and commit to a way out of this impasse that will best serve the interests of their people.

A political agreement notwithstanding, the road towards improved governance through systemic reform will be arduous. Indeed, at the root of the recurring political and socio-economic crises which Haiti has experienced in its modern history lie such entrenched factors as consistently high levels of poverty, pervasive gender inequalities, limited access to basic social services, severe natural resource depletion, and the scourge of gangs, corruption and impunity."

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