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General News    H4'ed 8/31/17

China Ready With $4.7 Billion to Invest in Haiti

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It looks as if China is willing to make good on its agreement with Haiti for the renovation of Port-au-Prince. In a letter to Xie Yong Jian, an Advisor to China's Southwest Municipal Engineering Design and Research Institute , Port-au-Prince Mayor Ralph Youri Chevy agreed to accept the Port-au-Prince Municipal Renovation Project. The project contains proposals for water and drainage works, road improvements, environmental protections, drainage and sanitation, a communications network and reconstruction of the old city of Port-au-Prince. The initial infrastructure investment is $4.711 billion. You can read the letter here .

"After thorough research and prudent consideration, the municipal government hereby supports the implementation of the Port-au-Prince Municipal Renovation Project by leveraging international investment and finance."

It is unclear at this point where the money will come from, but China is definitely moving forward. The day before the signing, a hard-hitting video surfaced on YouTube, in French and English, outlining the project in extensive detail.

If this project comes to fruition, it is sorely needed in a country that has seen massive infusions of foreign aid since the 2010 earthquake and very little benefits. See this analysis . My last visit was in December 2015 and not much had changed.

The promised infrastructure seems almost too good to be true, but let's hope that dreams can indeed come true for the Haitian people. China has made good on similar projects in its estimated Trillion dollar "Silk Road" initiative, not to mention 30 futuristic infrastructure projects in its own country. Perhaps the future has finally arrived for Haiti, and as a result the Caribbean corridor will be transformed.

Screen shot from YOUTUBE Video
Screen shot from YOUTUBE Video
(Image by Bati Ayiti)
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100 km (62 miles) of 12 main roads will be completely re-engineered. This does not sound like much unless you have ever tried to drive in the Port-au-Prince municipality. Drainage engineering will take center stage with flood interception trenches and rainwater runoff collection systems that will be routed to the rivers and the sea.

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Georgianne Nienaber is an investigative environmental and political writer. She lives in rural northern Minnesota and South Florida. Her articles have appeared in The Society of Professional Journalists' Online Quill Magazine, the Huffington (more...)

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