May 19, 2014

Haitians Upset Over Clinton Reconstruction Nightmare

4 years after a magnitude 7.0 earthquake leveled the country’s capital and caused damage across the country, many of the reconstruction projects led by former President Bill Clinton as head of the Interim Haiti Recovery Commission (IHRC) have failed. In one case, an IHRC project left Haiti on the hook for millions, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The article detailed how millions in public and private funding went to low quality or unfinished projects. One such project was supposed to develop a codependent power plant and port, has not been completed and remains almost $190 million over budget because USAID lacks ‘expertise in port planning in Haiti.’ Now Haiti is responsible to finish the project even though the GAO doubts they will be able to find private financing for it.

In another incident the final housing construction estimate was off by 80% because USAID, under the purview of Clinton’s state department, had not realized that Haitians prefer toilets that flush (seriously!)

Bill Clinton’s mismanagement of these projects in Haiti resulted in millions wasted and an impoverished country on the hook for a project it likely can’t afford to complete.

As one Haitian official put it:

“I really cannot understand how you could raise so much money, put a former U.S. president in charge, and get this outcome.”