Haiti: Anarchy risk without more aid

Feb. 7, 2009 at 9:49 AM

WASHINGTON, Feb. 7 (UPI) -- Haiti faces a descent back into anarchy if the government can't find as much as $100 million to plug a budget gap, Haitian President Rene Preval said.

Preval, in Washington Friday, he is seeking international economic assistance for his impoverished island nation and met this week with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, congressional leaders and officials of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, The Washington Post reported Saturday.

"I believe we are at a very serious turning point," Preval told the newspaper. "We can either win or lose."

He urged Clinton to change the way the United States funnels its $250 million in annual aid to Haiti, giving it directly to the government rather than through aid organizations. Preval said "every last cent of the contribution" continues to come through such aid groups, even though he says his government is now better managed.

"Political stability has been restored, but what is necessary is the creation of jobs," Preval told the Post.

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