Statement from Emira Woods on Haiti’s Debt

While we applaud the International Monetary Fund’s cancellation of Haiti’s debt, we are alarmed that in the six months since Haiti’s devastating earthquake, the IMF has saddled the country with millions of new loans. Haitians must direct scarce resources to rebuilding — now and into the future, not to debt service payments to international bankers. What’s worse, according to the IMF, these new loans focus on developing “the textiles and tourism industries.”

While Haiti’s agricultural sector suffers, the IMF prioritizes a pre-earthquake model of sweat shop and low-wage jobs. Haiti needs the space to rebuild its economy in the interests of her people. The IMF must not saddle Haiti with new loans while promoting the interests of foreign investors.

Emira Woods is the co-director of Foreign Policy In Focus at the Institute for Policy Studies.