APwire

IMF defends Haiti fuel price hikes that sparked unrest

  • 0

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — The International Monetary Fund stands by its proposal for fuel-price hikes in Haiti that sparked four days of unrest in the impoverished country.

An IMF spokesman in Washington says Haiti's government agreed to eliminate fuel subsidies as part of a broader agreement that would have strengthened its finances and opened it to more support from IMF member nations.

Spokesman Gerry Rice says that fuel subsidies disproportionately benefit the well-off and deprive the government of revenue it could otherwise use for other programs.

He said at a news conference Thursday the Haitian government should gradually phase out the subsidies.

The government announced July 6 that price increases of up to 50 percent would take effect the next day. That set off protests and looting that led to several deaths.

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.