May 26, 2011, 3:51 p.m. EDT
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — The cost of making a call or sending money to Haiti is about to go up because the new president is imposing fees to raise money for his goal of free education.
President Michel Martelly says the new fees will go into effect next month. Haiti will impose a charge of $1.50 on wire transfers and five cents per minute on phone calls to the country. Haitians living abroad will probably pay most of these fees.
Martelly told a news conference he projects the fees will generate $144 million over the next five years to pay for schools.
Haitian emigres wire about $1.5 billion annually to relatives back home. The wire transfers make up about 26 percent of GDP.