Magazine article Foreign Affairs

Recent Books: Western Hemisphere: Haiti: Toward a New Narrative

Magazine article Foreign Affairs

Recent Books: Western Hemisphere: Haiti: Toward a New Narrative

Article excerpt

Western Hemisphere Richard Feinberg Haiti: Toward a New Narrative BY RAJU JAN SINGH AND MARY BARTON-DOCK. World Bank, 2015, 117 pp.

In what amounts to a searing, selfinclusive indictment of the international donor community-official lenders as well as private nonprofits- this remarkably frank and disturbing World Bank report paints a bleak picture of Haiti today. Between 1971 and 2013, despite massive foreign assistance, Haiti's per capita income fell by 0.7 percent every year, on average, owing to low growth and to a population explosion. Nearly 60 percent of Haitians still cannot meet their basic needs. In pinpointing causes, the authors fault Haitian business elites for not paying taxes and for taking part in anticompetitive practices. Despite an abundance of technical assistance from international institutions, Haiti's legal and regulatory frameworks are "dysfunctional," the country suffers from a "near total absence" of urban planning, and the government still cannot perform many basic functions. …

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