Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Christian Aid calls for end of secrecy over mining of £12bn Haiti minerals

Two years ago Haiti’s Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe said mining minerals discovered in the north of the country could help Haiti rebuild following the 2010 earthquake which killed more than 200,000, and hasten an end to dependency on foreign aid.

Christian Aid country manager Prospery Raymond says lack of transparency over contracts is now giving rise to fears that the Haitian people may see little benefit from the mineral wealth.

‘Alarmingly, some contracts have been granted behind closed doors, without scrutiny or participation by Haitian civil society or parliament,’ said Raymond.

‘Opening this kind of opportunity to foreign investors without proper laws, enforcement and transparency in place has created much anger among the population and some politicians alike.

‘It is not clear that the benefits mining companies could potentially bring to Haiti would outweigh the costs they inflict, such as throwing poor people off their land, polluting our soil, air and water, and generating further inequalities of wealth and power in country where the chasm between rich and poor is widening every day.’

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