Report scrutinizes US efforts to rebuild post-quake Haiti

Mar 16, 2023, 3:31 PM | Updated: 4:14 pm

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — The U.S. Agency for International Development built only half of eight major projects meant to help Haiti recover from a devastating 2010 earthquake, a federal audit report said Thursday.

The U.S. Government Accountability Office also found that most of the agency’s projects were delayed, had to be scaled back or turned out to be more expensive than planned.

The report is the newest one to scrutinize how billions of dollars were spent to help Haiti in the aftermath of the magnitude 7.0 earthquake that the Haitian government estimates killed some 300,000 people.

USAID projects to rehabilitate rural roads, expand a power plant at an industrial park and build a $4.2 million port in northern Haiti were canceled. In addition, only about 900 out of 4,000 planned homes were built, given unanticipated high costs, the audit found.

“Pursuing overly ambitious plans resulted in delays, cost increases, reduced scopes, canceled activities and a costly redesign,” the 93-page report said.

The report said USAID did not completely or consistently track or assess the results of infrastructure projects.

The agency also failed to analyze the effectiveness of its efforts to develop Haiti’s National Police through training, equipment and technical assistance, the report said. But it added that political instability, violence and civil unrest hampered efforts to help a police force that is overwhelmed by powerful gangs that control more than half of the capital of Port-au-Prince.

The report said USAID build a $74 million power plant and improved 24 health and public facilities as part of a continuing $89 million health infrastructure program.

The audit also found that USAID improved local tax systems, increased HIV testing and related services and helped farmers access agricultural markets and negotiate better prices for their products via a mobile communications system.

Overall, USAID spent $2 billion helping Haiti rebuild and develop in the fiscal years 2010 to 2020, the audit said.

“These activities have been critical to supporting Haiti after a series of devastating catastrophes and setbacks, but their effectiveness is not fully known,” the report said.

USAID said it has taken steps to make improvements, including awarding a new contract to collect and analyze data to scrutinize current and past efforts.

The office of Haiti’s prime minister did not return a message asking for comment on the report’s findings.

Haiti is still trying to recover from the 2010 earthquake as well as a magnitude 7.2 quake that struck in August 2021, killing more than 2,200 people and damaging more than 130,000 buildings.


Associated Press

US Mideast envoy hopeful Saudi-Iran détente will help region

KHARTOUM, Sudan (AP) — The Biden administration is hopeful that warming ties between Iran and Saudi Arabia will help deescalate conflicts and crises across the Middle East, a senior U.S. diplomat said Thursday. The détente between the two regional heavyweights could help bring Yemen’s nine-year civil war to an end, Barbara Leaf said. Earlier this […]
17 hours ago
FILE - Bosnian Serb leader Milorad Dodik speaks during a news conference after claiming victory in ...
Associated Press

Blinken compares Bosnia Serb leader to Putin

SARAJEVO, Bosnia-Herzegovina (AP) — U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken has compared the policies of the Bosnia Serb separatist leader to those of Russian President Vladimir Putin following his moves to curb dissent and LGBTQ rights. Blinken tweeted late Wednesday that “Milorad Dodik’s attacks on basic rights and freedoms in Republika Srpska show he is […]
17 hours ago
FILE - Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov attends a meeting in Moscow, Russia, Tuesday,...
Associated Press

Russia to keep missile test notices under Cold War-era deal

MOSCOW (AP) — Russia will continue to give the U.S. advance notice about its missile tests despite suspending the last remaining nuclear arms treaty between the two countries, a top Russian diplomat said Thursday. Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov’s statement reversed one he made Wednesday, when he said Moscow had halted all information exchanges with […]
17 hours ago
A worker is silhouetted against spectators seats at Gelora Bung Tomo Stadium, one of the venues pre...
Associated Press

Tears, anger as Indonesian soccer fears FIFA sanctions

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — Indonesian soccer players and fans reacted with tears and outrage after the country was stripped of hosting rights for the Under-20 World Cup only eight weeks before the start of the tournament amid political turmoil over Israel’s participation, leaving Indonesian soccer at risk of further sanctions. The youth soccer event was […]
17 hours ago
Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen leaves a hotel in New York, Wednesday, March 29, 2023. (AP Photo/Yu...
Associated Press

China renews warnings as Taiwan’s Tsai stops over in US

BEIJING (AP) — As Taiwan’s president began a stopover in the United States on her way to Central America, China said it was closely watching developments and would “resolutely safeguard our sovereignty and territorial integrity.” China claims Taiwan as its own territory to be brought under its control by force if necessary, and portrays the […]
17 hours ago
Pope Francis waves to faithful during his weekly general audience in St. Peter's Square, at the Vat...
Associated Press

Responding to Indigenous, Vatican rejects Discovery Doctrine

VATICAN CITY (AP) — The Vatican on Thursday responded to Indigenous demands and formally repudiated the “Doctrine of Discovery,” the theories backed by 15th-century “papal bulls” that legitimized the colonial-era seizure of Native lands and form the basis of some property law today. A Vatican statement said the papal bulls, or decrees, “did not adequately […]
17 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Compassion International...

Brock Huard and Friends Rally Around The Fight for First Campaign

Professional athletes are teaming up to prevent infant mortality and empower women at risk in communities facing severe poverty.
Emergency Preparedness...

Prepare for the next disaster at the Emergency Preparedness Conference

Being prepared before the next emergency arrives is key to preserving businesses and organizations of many kinds.
SHIBA volunteer...

Volunteer to help people understand their Medicare options!

If you’re retired or getting ready to retire and looking for new ways to stay active, becoming a SHIBA volunteer could be for you!
safety from crime...

As crime increases, our safety measures must too

It's easy to be accused of fearmongering regarding crime, but Seattle residents might have good reason to be concerned for their safety.
Comcast Ready for Business Fund...
Ilona Lohrey | President and CEO, GSBA

GSBA is closing the disparity gap with Ready for Business Fund

GSBA, Comcast, and other partners are working to address disparities in access to financial resources with the Ready for Business fund.

Medicare open enrollment is here and SHIBA can help!

The SHIBA program – part of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner – is ready to help with your Medicare open enrollment decisions.
Report scrutinizes US efforts to rebuild post-quake Haiti