Haitian customs troubles blamed for rotting food aid
Resistance to Haitian customs reforms has left containers of much needed food aid rotting on the docks of Cap-Haitian, according to an investigative report released Thursday by the Associated Press.
Some of the containers containing 40,000 pounds of beans have sat inside the port since November, the news service said.
The Haitian government attempted to impose customs reforms in December by demanding that every inbound container be opened and inspected. This led to protests from cargo handlers, and containers piled up on the docks.
Prior to the reform attempts, it was alleged that Haitian customs officers waived cargoes through, realizing that the port was being used as transshipment center for Colombian drug smugglers. Customs officers also pocketed money from bribes, depriving the government of revenue, the AP said.
The World Bank has ranked the Haitian port system second worst in the Caribbean. The United States and United Nations have both urged the Haitian government through funds and peacekeepers to improve the system.