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Crisis Response

Haiti: From recovery to sustainable development

Haiti is among the countries most exposed to natural disasters, and its vulnerability increases with climate change, the degradation of the environment and the irrational use of space, especially in cities.

From 1975 to 2012, disasters linked to climate have caused annual damages and losses amounting to approximately 2 percent of the gross domestic product, while the earthquake of 12 January 2010 killed 220 people and displaced 1.5 million; losses amounted to 120 percent of GDP.

In October 2016, Haiti was struck by Hurricane Matthew, which killed hundreds of people, destroyed the crops of tens of thousands of households and forced more than 60,000 people into temporary shelters.

Highlights

  • In the wake of Hurricane Matthew, UNDP allocated US$1 million of its own resources to kick-start the recovery process.
  • Over 45,000 families displaced by the earthquake were rehoused.
  • The operational capacities of the Directorate of Civil Protection were reinforced, a methodological guide for urban risk reduction created and studies on seismic risk carried out.
  • 9,132 hectares of river basins were rehabilitated, reducing environmental vulnerability, and more than 350,000 permanent and temporary jobs were created.
Drawing lessons from 2010, UNDP’s recovery strategy in Haiti was conceived and implemented in close partnership with the local and national authorities.
 

Recovery

UNDP is focusing on long-term support to help build a structurally sound, resilient and sustainable Haiti. Governance, disaster risk reduction, and environmental protection are at the heart of our work, in concert with the Haitian people, elected officials, the private sector and the international community.

The day following Hurricane Matthew, UNDP allocated US$1 million of its own resources to kick-start the recovery process, supported by generous donors (especially Japan, Mauritius, New Zealand, Sweden, the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB)) and the Haitian government. However, additional financial resources are necessary to broaden existing projects and help Haitian people rebuild their country.

Since October 2016, we have provided assistance to 10 municipalities by replacing damaged major infrastructure and by supporting their operational intervention capacities. At the national level, we have provided technical assistance to the Ministry of Planning and External Cooperation to evaluate the country’s needs after the disaster, reinforced intervention and communication capacities of the Directorate of Civil Protection and supported the Ministry of Environment as well as the Ministry of Interior and Local Government.

UNDP has also created close to 124,000 short-term jobs that provided immediate revenue. By injecting liquidity in the local economy, these programmes for the creation of emergency employment opportunities (“cash-for-work”) have restored livelihoods and started the process of economic recovery in impacted areas. We made it a priority to seek out the most vulnerable people, especially women, to participate in reconstruction efforts.

In the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew, we have supported local authorities during the recovery planning period with the help of multi-hazard risk maps developed in the department of Grand’Anse.

Poverty reduction

In collaboration with the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, UNDP launched the Laboratory for Innovation and Economic Development  project, with the aim of training young entrepreneurs. Young people whose projects are selected benefit from professional training and are supervised by a microfinance institution to create their business.

About 900 microenterprises have also been strengthened through training, access to credit and projects focusing on women and youth from the most vulnerable neighbourhoods. As part of the recovery effort, over 350,000 permanent and temporary jobs have been created. 

Environment

Important lessons have been drawn, especially the need to fully integrate environmental vulnerability and the disaster risk reduction in all projects and to invest in the government’s management and coordination capacities.

A vulnerability reduction analysis in the South showed that the direct participation of local authorities produced better responses to people’s needs. The evaluation of the recovery programme recommended the systematic introduction of quotas for the participation of women.

In addition, 9,132 hectares of river basins have been rehabilitated, reducing environmental vulnerability.

Fighting AIDS and tuberculosis

The prevalence of HIV/AIDS has stabilized, and the situation is improving with regard to tuberculosis:

  • Over 68,349 people living with HIV were placed under ARV treatment.
  • Over 389,000 people were tested for HIV, exceeding the initial target of 100,000 tests during the period.
  • The tuberculosis and HIV integration strategy was strengthened, with 93 percent of tuberculosis patients having received a test for HIV.

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