The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) has agreed to lend Haiti $55 million to help it stimulate economy and create more jobs, particularly for people in the northern parts of the country.
Much of the money will be spent for expanding the Caracol Industrial Park, a key infrastructure project designed to boost Haiti’s ability in manufacturing and exporting of services. Companies operating out of the industrial park are expected to generate 6,800 jobs by 2018.
“The project will also boost payments into the social security system, rent and services provided by employers and lease-holders, as well as wages paid to workers at the park,” IDB said, urging the local government to decentralize public services and focus on creating jobs.
High unemployment, estimated at 40.6 percent in 2010, has become a drag on Haiti’s economy. Home to more than 10 million people, Haiti has been struggling to overcome the damage caused by the 2010 earthquake, which partially toppled even the country’s presidential palace.
Analysts say creating jobs should be a priority in the country majority of whose population lives on two dollars a day.
The new financing will focus on construction of buildings and factories for industrial activities and structures to meet the demands of current tenants and new ones that will set up shop in the industrial park.
“Furthermore, there will be an expansion of roads and public services,” IDB said. Funds will also be allotted for projects that boost urban development, transport and other public works in the communities that surround the industrial park.
Among the infrastructure programs is building a bike path between the industrial park and the town of Caracol.