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Policy Lessons from Natural Resources Projects in Haiti: A Framework for Reform

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Type: Working Paper
Author: White, T. Anderson; Gregersen, Hans M.
Date: 1994
Agency: EPAT/MUCIA, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI
Series:
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10535/4416
Sector: General & Multiple Resources
Region: Central America & Caribbean
Subject(s): resource management
Abstract: "Haiti is currently undergoing its largest economic crisis and political opportunity of this century. We present this brief, and the accompanying working paper, in the hope that policymakers will be able to make the reforms necessary for Haiti's development. We hope this brief can help point the way for discussions about that reform. "Rural poverty exists and has increased because of longstanding political, economic, and cultural divisions. The divisions occur among the poor rural majority, the small middle class, and the merchant and military elite. "Taxes on rural production, coupled with a lack of government investments in public services and rural areas, reinforce the divisions. Indirectly, they lead to deforestation, land degradation, and poverty. "More direct causes of poverty and degradation are the pervasive insecurity facing Haiti's people and deficit in production resources (land and capital). Another cause is the limited opportunity for expansion of off-farm employment that would reduce pressure on the land. "Because they were seen as a political threat, past governments repressed local organizations that form the basis for democratic development. Reversing the trend of land degradation and poverty in Haiti will be a slow and difficult process. It will require substantial policy reform, administrative reorganization, and more effective use of donor funds."

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