Report scrutinizes US efforts to rebuild post-quake Haiti


SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — The U.S. Agency for International Development built only half of eight major projects intended to help Haiti recover from a devastating 2010 earthquake, a federal audit report said Thursday. went.

The US Government Accountability Office also found that most of the agency’s projects were delayed, pushed back or cost more than planned.

The report is the latest to examine how billions of dollars were spent to help Haiti after the 7.0-magnitude earthquake that the Haitian government estimates killed 300,000 people.

USAID plans to rehabilitate rural roads, expand a power plant in an industrial park and build a $4.2 million port in northern Haiti were canceled. In addition, only 900 of the 4,000 planned houses were built, with unexpected high costs, the audit found.

The 93-page report states that “pursuing overly ambitious plans resulted in delays, cost overruns, scope reductions, canceled activities and a costly redesign.”

The report states that USAID does not fully or consistently track or evaluate the results of infrastructure projects.

The agency also failed to analyze the effectiveness of its efforts to develop Haiti’s national police through training, equipment and technical assistance, the report said. But he added that political instability, violence and civil unrest have hampered efforts to help a police force overwhelmed by powerful gangs that control more than half of the capital city of Port-au-Prince.

USAID built a $74 million power plant and improved 24 health and public facilities as part of an ongoing $89 million health infrastructure program, the report said.

The audit also found that USAID improved local tax systems, increased HIV testing and related services, and helped farmers access agricultural markets and negotiate better prices for their produce through mobile communication systems. Helped to do.

In total, USAID spent $2 billion from fiscal years 2010 to 2020 to help rebuild and develop Haiti, the audit said.

“These activities have been critical to assisting Haiti after a series of catastrophic disasters and failures, but their effectiveness is not fully known,” the report said.

USAID said it has taken steps to improve, including awarding a new contract to collect and analyze data to examine current and past efforts.

The Haitian prime minister’s office did not return a message seeking comment on the report’s findings.

Haiti is still trying to recover from the 2010 earthquake, as well as a magnitude 7.2 earthquake in August 2021, which killed more than 2,200 people and damaged more than 130,000 buildings.

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