Dignity and fair wages in Haiti

In a quiet farming hamlet in the northern part of Haiti, farmers were forcibly removed from fertile land to make way for a new industrial park in 2012. They were poorly compensated for their land, making it nearly impossible to continue their agricultural livelihoods.

The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), financers of the Caracol Industrial Park, promised that the investment would yield some 65,000 jobs. To date roughly 5,000 jobs have been created. Workers earn $5-$7 per day and spend one-third on transportation and lunch costs alone.

The government of Haiti is aggressively pursuing a foreign investment strategy using the slogan, “Open for Business” to attract investors. They have honed in on extractive industries, tourism, and export industries such as garment manufacturing as the most lucrative sectors. The pitch to investors is predicated on cheap labor, supplied by thousands of Haitians who desperately need employment…

Read the full article at Third Way Cafe

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