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IMF defends Haiti fuel price hikes that sparked unrest

Friday, July 13, 2018

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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 programmes.

He said at a news conference yesterday, the Haitian Government should gradually phase out the subsidies.

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

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