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Mission Impossible? Moïse Commits to Round-the-Clock Electricity for Haiti

LADB Article ID: 80358
Category/Department: Haiti
Date: 2017-07-27
By: George Rodríguez

Haiti’s new president, Jovenel Moïse, has set himself a major goal that, at best, seems complicated to accomplish: to give the country round-the-clock electricity. He is not the first Haitian president to set that goal. Michel Martelly (2011-2016) also tried to do so––and failed. With some 80% of its population of almost 10.6 million surviving on less than US$2 a day, and with a 40% unemployed rate, this impoverished Caribbean island nation has an extremely inefficient electric system; it operates for 10 hours a day, and covers less than 30% of the people, including those illegally connected to the grid. Estimates by the US Agency for International Development (USAID) place the population without access to the service at 75%, with half of the remaining 25% illegally connected to the system run by the state company, Electricité d’Haïti (EDH). Even the privileged few with access to power face a problem, because “reliability is inconsistent,” USAID said. This, in turn, creates a chain of derived problems, since it “hinders investment, constrains the development of productive businesses, and degrades living standards for residential customers,” USAID said.

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