By NAN Staff Writer
News Americas, NEW YORK, NY., Fri. July 23, 2021: Of all the talk of supporting Haiti and the Haitian people, U.S. assistance to Haiti in dollars over the past 9 years actually tell a completely different story, News Americas has found.
According to data released by the Congressional Research Service last year, between Fiscal Year 2012 and 2019, the US allocated just shy of US$2 million to Haiti or $1,981,572 to be exact.
The number decreased from 2012 annually, to the lowest request this Fiscal Year.
The State Department’s budget request for $145,455 for 2020 and $128,155 for this year was not yet actualized at the time of the CSR report, in March 2020. However, that brings the total to just about US $2.5 million in 9 years.
However, both are at an all-time low and the lowest under the Donald Trump administration, when Haiti was allegedly referred to as a “S-Hole” nation.
The Trump Administration requested $128.2 million for Haiti in FY2021, a decline by nearly 34% compared to the estimated $193.8 million provided in FY2019.
The majority of the funding is allocated to health programs and little to economic support and development, the data shows. This even though according to the State Department, U.S. policy toward Haiti is “designed to foster the institutions and infrastructure necessary to achieve strong democratic foundations and meaningful poverty reduction through sustainable development.”
In the Barack Obama second term, a mere US $8,500 was allocated in 2017 and in 2018 to the Economic Support Fund while zero went to the Economic Support and Development Fund, according to the CRS data.
The Obama administration instead put the emphasis in his second term on development assistance in the final three years of his term, with nothing before, the data shows. Nothing was allocated for the Economic Support and Development Fund throughout the Obama tenure, the CSR number revealed.
This again even though the US said its “policy priorities include support for economic growth and poverty reduction, including through bilateral trade and investment to promote job creation.”
However, according to the State Department, Haiti has made long-term development progress over the past 10 years.
They pointed to for example, the fact that “basic health indicators improved significantly, most notably achieving zero laboratory-confirmed cases of cholera for the last nine months of 2019.”
The State Department also reported that with U.S. and other international support, Haiti had created 27,000 jobs through programs to improve private sector competitiveness and another 14,000 jobs at the Caracol Industrial Park in northern Haiti.
In 2019, however, $51,000 was allocated to the Economic Support and Development Fund while $25,500 was requested for both Fiscal Year 2020 and 2021 under the Trump years.
Between 2012 and 2019, $873,626 was allocated to supporting global health programs while $417,317 was allocated to USAID’s health programs. A total of $95,868 was allocated over the same International Narcotics Control and Law Enforcement.
This despite the US saying its focus is on “strengthening the HNP (Haiti National Police) so that the country can provide its own security and work more effectively with U.S. agencies to combat international crime.”
On Thursday, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken called on new Haitian Prime Minister Ariel Henry to seek broad political consensus as he establishes the government’s priorities and to work quickly to establish conditions for free and fair elections.
“Secretary Blinken reiterated the United States’ commitment to supporting the Haitian people following the heinous assassination of President Jovenel Moïse,” State Department spokesperson Ned Price said in a statement that described a Thursday phone call between the two officials.