One of Haiti’s top donors has approved a new grant for the further development of a manufacturing facility in the country’s northern region, which aims to produce more jobs and boost the economy through foreign investments in the quake-ravaged Caribbean nation.
The $50 million grant from the Inter-American Development Bank will be used for “additional hydrological studies,” and the management and maintenance of the facility, called the Caracol Industrial Park. It will also be used to ensure tenants’ compliance with labor laws as well as health, safety and environmental standards.
The park is already hosting a South Korean textile manufacturer. A second tenant — a Haitian paint manufacturer — will soon set shop in the area and hire at least 200 workers, according to a press release.
This is IDB’s second grant to the project, following a $55 million disbursement in 2011. The multilateral donor plans to provide $180 million in grants for the project over a period of six years, using the money to provide technical assistance to boost the capacity of local municipal governments and to finance infrastructure projects such as roads and community centers.
IDB is also helping build the capacity of Société Nationale des Parcs Industriels, the government agency that owns the new manufacturing facility, to encourage more investors — local and foreign — to the area.
The park is a major project by the government of Haiti, IDB and the U.S. Agency for International Development. The facility, according to the press release, could provide job opportunities to as many as 40,000 people in the region. But some nongovernmental organizations are concerned the project might send the country on the “path of food dependency” as the area used for the project was said to be “prime agricultural land,” Grassroots International wrote in July.
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