Haiti’s President urges ‘critical rethink’ to ensure development assistance targets national priorities
Noting the multidimensional consequences of COVID‑19, as well as ongoing political and socio-economic strife in many countries, Haiti’s President Jovenel Moïse told the UN General Assembly that today, more than ever, the world needs a multilateral system that performs better through greater solidarity.
“Such a system would all Member States and the wider Organization to develop strategies fit for building a more holistic future that will be better for all,” he said in a pre-recorded address to the Assembly, which is holding its annual high-level segment virtually due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Rethink assistance to better meet Haiti’s needs
Eliminating poverty is the number‑one goal of the 2030 Agenda, but unfortunately, global efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are far from meeting outstanding needs.
“Unfortunately, a significant portion of the world is still struggling with poverty and hunger and it will be impossible to reverse this trend without a huge mobilization of financial resources,” said President Moïse, said, stressing that “the gap between engagement and real action to alleviate worldwide poverty is still huge.”
Against this background, he said that over the past decade, Haiti has received several billion dollars in international assistance, yet the living conditions of its people have not really improved. “Billions of dollars spent have often not taken into account our own needs and priorities, or even our own poverty reduction strategy” he explained, calling on all donors from all friendly countries seeking to ensure sustainable development for all to rethink their assistance towards boosting effectiveness.
“We want projects that are adopted to our needs, that respond to our priorities and allow us to implement economic development geared towards human beings” and with a positive impact on alleviating poverty, he stated, acknowledging that some donors are starting to understand the need to align their assistance with Government priorities, “and we welcome this”.
‘We will get back on our feet’
Just 10 years to the 2030 ‘deadline’ to achieve the SDGs, many countries have made significant efforts towards implementing those targets, while others are still lagging behind, he said.
“Haiti’s urgent needs in terms of economic development and long-term recovery are immense and require coherent investment in several areas, including — among others — transportation and electrical infrastructure, digital infrastructure, sanitation, reforestation affordable housing, renewable energy and access to credit for all, including farmers and young people,” President Moïse explained.
“I am fully aware of my responsibility to ensure conditions are establish to guarantee security, stability and long-term development in Haiti,” he stated, but pointed out that the island nations had been experiencing a months-long, complex socio-economic crisis, as well “excessive and violent polarization among the political class.”
While Haiti would not be able to face these challenges on its own, “we will get back on our feet” with lasting, effective and coordinated support for the international community,” the President stated.