U.S. Withholds Loans in Water-Starved Haiti
Posted on Jun 25, 2008
The U.S. is under heavy criticism by human rights groups for withholding funds for clean water projects in Haiti as leverage for U.S.-led political reform in the country. A total of $54 million in loans to Haitians—70 percent of whom already lack daily access to potable water—is being delayed.
The New York Times:
An array of human rights groups has strongly criticized the United States government, saying it withheld money meant to provide clean drinking water to Haiti as leverage for political change in the country.
The activists, in a report released Monday, called the delay of $54 million in international loans to the Haitian government “one of the most egregious examples of malfeasance by the United States in recent years.”
The loans from the Inter-American Development Bank were intended to revamp the water and sanitation systems in Les Cayes and Port-de-Paix, two Haitian towns in dire need of the money to improve their infrastructure. Nearly 70 percent of Haitians lack regular and direct access to potable water, experts say. The lack of clean water contributes to intestinal parasites and amoebic dysentery.
picasaweb / gohaitimission
Haiti, where only 30 percent of the population has reliable access to potable water, was the site of a 2004 U.S.-backed rebellion that ousted the nation’s president.