This Selected Issues paper reviews key trends in Haiti’s fiscal performance over the past decade and discusses various options for strengthening the fiscal system. It suggests that a key challenge will be to generate adequate resources to support development, which requires an increase in outlays on social programs, security, and infrastructure investment to at least the levels observed in other low-income countries. The paper reviews revenue trends and key features of the tax system. It also illustrates that Haiti’s public sector employment is far smaller than in other countries.
This paper discusses Haiti’s progress under the Enhanced Initiative for Heavily Indebted Poor Countries. Substantial advances have been made toward meeting the four triggers not fully implemented, and the authorities are committed to further progress in the near future. These triggers relate to publication of audited government accounts, implementation of a new procurement law, education funding, teacher training and school inspections, and increasing immunization rates. Haiti’s parliament passed a new procurement law in June 2009, which is in line with international best practices.
This first issue of Volume 51 for 2004 includes a new paper by Peter B. Clark and Jacques J. Polak, along with a tribute from the Editor to Mr. Polak in honor of his 90th birthday. This issue also launches a new featured section, "Data Issues," which will be devoted in future issues to on-going discussions of the latest in econometric and statistical tools for economists, data puzzles, and other related topics of interest to researchers.
The staff report for Haiti’s Fourth Review under the Three-Year Arrangement, and request for Waiver of Performance Criterion and Augmentation of Access is examined. The financial system, which has not been significantly affected by the financial crisis, remains sound. External credit lines are small and mostly trade related. Indicators of banking sector soundness remained broadly satisfactory with increased net profits and declining nonperforming loans, although the financial position of two small banks had weakened further.
The economy of Haiti is recovering despite the challenging international and domestic environments. The FY2011 budget appropriately supports the reconstruction objectives in a context of sustainable public financing. Monetary policy remains geared toward keeping inflation in the single digits. The structural reform agenda continues to focus on improving the business climate and promoting private sector-led growth. International assistance is critical to recovering from the 2010 earthquake in Haiti. Reconstruction is under way, albeit at a slower pace than envisaged. The humanitarian response from donors to the earthquake was quick and sizable.