Audio: In Haiti, A Low-Wage Job Is Better Than None [NPR]

Several months ago, NPR posted a piece on Haiti’s estimated 70% unemployment rate and the opportunities that may exist through HOPE II (The Haitian Hemispheric Opportunity through Partnership Encouragement Act).

The piece gave a great description of what unemployment (more precisely the lack of employment in the formal sector) looks like in Haiti and by extension many cities in developing countries:

Haiti needs investment at all levels to pull itself out of poverty, export oriented jobs in Port Au Prince are a good start but it will take a vision of economic development beyond the capital to effect greater change. Decentralization of government services to permit basic bureaucratic functions to be handled in the province capitals will be vital to catch the rest of the country up to the capital. The deregulation of certain key markets, such as energy, will be needed to attract foreign investment. We have seen the success of the establishment of competition in the development of the cellular market in Haiti, there are other areas where this could quickly and easily be established. Now is the time to help Haiti turn the corner to pull itself out of poverty, to attract foreign capital in infrastructure, goods and services. Unfortunately such a change would require a level of cross agenda cooperation that is uncommon for the legislature of Haiti. I can only hope that the leaders of Haiti will work together to create a newfound economic stability that works for all parts of the country and can move beyond thier individual agendas.

Pete’s comment on the story’s site:
Haiti needs investment at all levels to pull itself out of poverty, export oriented jobs in Port-au-Prince are a good start, but it will take a vision of economic development beyond the capital to effect greater change. Decentralization of government services to permit basic beauracratic functions to be handled in the province capitals will be vital to catch the rest of the country up to the capital. The deregulation of certain key markets, such as energy, will be needed to attract foreign investment. We have seen the success of the establishment of competition in the development of the cellular market in Haiti, there are other areas where this could quickly and easily be established. Now is the time to help Haiti turn the corner to pull itself out of poverty, to attract foreign capital in infrastructure, goods and services. Unfortunately such a change would require a level of cross agenda cooperation that is uncommon for the legislature of Haiti. I can only hope that the leaders of Haiti will work together to create a newfound economic stability that works for all parts of the country and can move beyond thier individual agendas.

Related Sites:
H.R. 6111, the Haitian Hemispheric Opportunity through Partnership Encouragement Act of 2006 (HOPE)
[FYI: If this link breaks as some point in the future and you want to exact text of the Act, HOPE makes an appearance in the 5th (H.R.6111.EAH) and 6th versions (H.R.6111.ENR]) of overall bill. It tucked into Title V of the Tax Relief and Health Care Act of 2006]

HOPE provides for duty-free treatment for certain apparel articles imported directly from Haiti. Section 213A (b)(2) of HOPE provides duty-free treatment for apparel articles wholly assembled, or knit-to-shape, in Haiti from any combination of fabrics, fabric components, components knit-to-shape, and yarns, if the sum of the cost or value of materials produced in Haiti or one or more countries, as described in HOPE, or any combination thereof, plus the direct costs of processing operations performed in … Section 213A (a)(1)(B) of HOPE provides that the initial applicable one-year period of quantitative limitation means the one-year period beginning on the date of the enactment of HOPE, beginning on December 20, 2006. Section 213A (b)(3) of HOPE provides that annual quantitative limitations will be recalculated for each subsequent 12-month period. Section 213A (b)(3) of HOPE also provides that the quantitative limitations for qualifying apparel imported from Haiti under this

  • HOPE provides for duty-free treatment for certain apparel articles imported directly from Haiti.
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