WASHINGTON — U.S. efforts to help rebuild Haiti after the devastating 2010 earthquake have been plagued by poor planning, delays and mistaken cost estimates that have forced many projects to be scaled back, the Government Accountability Office has concluded in a report released this month.
Of the $651 million Congress allocated for Haiti reconstruction to the U.S. Agency for International Development, only $204 million has been spent three years later. And much of that has gone to questionable use, the GAO found.
The GAO was especially critical of USAID’s largest reconstruction project, a $170.3 million undertaking that includes construction of a power plant, a port and an industrial park.
The GAO said Haiti is unlikely to be able to manage and maintain the project on its own once construction is completed. It also criticized the way the project had been planned, noting that the three facilities are interdependent, meaning delays in construction of one portion affects the usefulness of other completed sections.
USAID finished the first phase of the power plant’s construction under budget and in time to supply the industrial park’s first tenant with power. But construction of the port won’t begin for another two years, the report said.
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