Making Sense of Martelly's National Fund for Education
- Monday, June 20, 2011 8:26 AM
On 12 June the Ministry of the Economy and Finance (MEF) accepted a $500 million loan from the Inter-American Development Bank(IDB). This money is being channeled through the Economic and Social Assistance Fund (FAES) of the IDB. The FAES, overseen by the MEF, will coordinate projects developed by the Ministry of Education (MENFP).
More than a month earlier, then, President-elect Michel Martelly announced tariffs or taxes to be assessed on international calls and money transfers. The measure would affect the Haitian diaspora more than any other group but the necessity of educating the youth quelled any thought of an insurrection.
Insufficient communication between the Government of Haiti and its diaspora community made the, aforementioned, June 12 loan, subsequent announced plans and the involvement of other international bodies, make the FNE seem duplicitous. After some review of past records, some light can be brought to the matters of doubt surrounding the president's fund for education.
In short, it can be said that the MENFP and FAES are coordinating the national education plan, the IDB is financing it, and the Haitian diaspora are the guarantors of it - through the FNE.
The education project was announced in August of 2010 in the New York Times:
The first, five-year phase is expected to cost $500 million. Half of that would come from the Inter-American Development Bank, which has helped design the program. The rest is expected to come from other donors. The plan is to build at least 625 new primary schools and triple the number of publicly financed schools. It would also retrain 90 percent of the countryâ€™s teaching force â€” 50,000 people â€” to teach the new curriculum, and it would train 2,500 new teachers a year, many through a program patterned on Teach for America.
The New York Times reported only half of the half billion would be covered by the IDB and the rest from other donors. A year and a half later, the donations haven't materialized and the IDB is not in the business of giving away money.
On April 21 2011, then President-elect Michel Martelly traveled to Washington, D.C. to meet with three particular entities; the IDB, the U.S. State Department and 2 international banks.
"Given this daunting task, jump-starting the economy is a priority, by doing so we will create jobs and stir up economic activity which leads to sustainable development. In order to accomplish these reforms and create the economic stimulus necessary to offer opportunities to the Haitian people, the country needs to have access to loans. No country can build or rebuild infrastructure based on grants alone." - President-elect Michel Martelly, 04.21.2011
5 Days following the Washington, D.C. meetings, April 26, the President-elect, Michel Martelly would announce the establishment of the National Fund for Education, a tax to be assessed on international calls and money transfers. The tax is projected to raise at least $8.5 million per month for the president's education goals; free education for every child.
The $8.5 million over the course of 60 months - a 5-year presidential term - would raise a minimum $510 million. The Haitian diaspora is in effect the guarantor of the half billion dollar loan for education.
Related 17.06.2011: Education Tax in Effect as $2 Calling Cards Drop from 22 Minutes to 6 Minutes
Related 12.06.2011: MEF Accepts $500M Loan for Education from IDB
Related 27.04.2011: President-elect Michel Martelly Addresses the Haitian Diaspora
Related 26.04.2011: Martelly to Tax Diaspora $8.5M USD per Month
Related 25.04.2011: Martelly Calls for the Haitian Diaspora to Organize Themselves
Source: New York Times , C-SPAN