Haiti, the poorest country on the continent, faces a multitude of structural development challenges. These were compounded by the devastating earthquake of 12 January 2010 that reached magnitude 7.0 on the Richter scale. The EU responded with immediate humanitarian aid and stepped up its long-term development assistance to best support the country’s recovery.
EU response to Haiti earthquake
The EU provided both immediate humanitarian relief and mid and long-term development aid. EU humanitarian assistance totalled EUR 321 million. The EU made a single pledge for medium and long-term reconstruction aid amounting EUR 1.235 million at the international donors’ conference on Haiti held in New York on 31st March 2010. The sum included pledges from the EU’s budget (EUR 522 million), its 28 Member States and the European Investment Bank (EIB).
EU Cooperation 2014-2020
The allocation under the 11th EDF was increased to up to EUR 420 million to support Haiti infighting poverty along four priority sectors, namely state building and modernisation of the public administration, education, urban development and infrastructure, and food and nutritional security. Particular emphasis is given to create an efficient link between relief, rehabilitation and development (LRRD) to ensure the transition between emergency response and structural development assistance. The EU also supports activities in the fields of human rights, the environment, trade and co-finances projects with civil society organisations. Other important programmes focus on food security and agriculture, and are financed under different instruments.
EU Cooperation 2008-2013
The EU’s strategy with Haiti in 2008-2013 –drawn up before the earthquake of January 2010 struck– detailed the priority areas for the EU's support to the country under the 10th European Development Fund (EDF). In order to respond to the new needs and priorities following the earthquake’s devastation, the EU mobilized additional resources and adjusted ongoing development programmes. At the request of the Haitian Government, and in line with its strategic priorities for the country’s reconstruction, the focal sectors under the 10th EDF remained being infrastructure supporting road infrastructure and maintenance, governance to support the modernisation of public administration and decentralisation process and general budget support.
As a member of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and the Forum of the Caribbean Group of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (CARIFORUM), Haiti benefits from regional programmes funded under the Caribbean Regional Indicative Programmes. The country is a signatory of the EU-Caribbean Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA), a comprehensive free trade agreement with a strong focus on development.