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Haiti to hike fuel prices as subsidies weigh on state coffers – Reuters

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Dec 7 (Reuters) – Haiti's government on Tuesday announced a hike in fuel prices after years of costly subsidies as part of a plan to improve government finances, an unpopular measure that has in the past triggered violent street protests.
The government of Prime Minister Ariel Henry told a news conference that the price of gasoline at the pump would rise 20% while diesel prices would nearly double when the new policy goes into effect on Friday.
That is the result of the elimination of fuel subsidies, which Henry said cost Haiti's government the equivalent of $300 million in 2020.
The measure would also double the price of kerosene, which is used for lamps in poor homes and in remote rural areas.
The country recently suffered a month of crippling fuel shortages as a result of blockade of fuel terminals by the G9 coalition of gangs that insisted Henry resign.
G9 leader Jimmy "Barbecue" Cherizier in November said the group would temporarily lift the blockade for a week.
The gangs never restored the blockade and fuel distribution has since then mostly functioned normally, though fuel transport drivers are the target of frequent kidnappings by gangs.
A 2018 plan to reduce fuel subsidies as part of a deal between former President Jovenel Moise and the International Monetary Fund triggered violent demonstrations as protesters barricaded roads, looted stores and set cars ablaze.
Moise was assassinated in July.
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