Haiti prime minister says resort project will help economy, won't involve evictions

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti – Haiti’s prime minister is defending a plan to transform a small island off the country’s southern coast into a high-end resort destination.

Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe says the government has no plans to evict the poor farmers on the small Caribbean island known as Ile-a-Vache.

Residents of the island have clashed with police in recent weeks in a series of protests over the $260 million project.

Lamothe says residents have been misinformed about possible evictions and that the project will bring economic benefits to the impoverished country.

Haiti is developing the project with foreign aid and private investors. Work has already begun on a new airport funded with $24 million from Venezuela.

Lamothe told The Associated Press on Wednesday that the project will create more than 2,000 jobs.