Haiti is the poorest country on the American continent. After a long period of political instability and economic decline Haiti faces a multitude of structural development challenges. The poverty is widespread and social indicators are at the lowest level as compared to other countries. Since 2004, the international community, including the EU, has strengthened its engagement in Haiti. After years of crisis, the establishment of MINUSTAH, the United Nations Stabilisation Mission in Haiti, opened a window of opportunity allowing for renewed and enhanced cooperation with the country.
Haiti earthquake - the EU response
An earthquake measuring 7.0 on the Richter scale struck Haiti on 12 January. In response to the devastating earthquake, the EU, fully mobilised, provided both immediate humanitarian relief and mid and long-term development aid. EU Humanitarian assistance amounts to a total of € 321 million (including €120 million from the Commission). At the International Donor's Conference in New York on 31 March 2010, the EU made a single pledge for medium and long-term reconstruction aid amounting €1.235 billion. This includes pledges from the Commission,18 EU Member States and the European Investment Bank. The European Commission pledged €460 million; this pledge has been increased to €522 million. By the end of 2010, the EU disbursements reached €331.9 million.
The Country Strategy Paper for Haiti (2008-2013) presents the strategic framework for the co-operation between the European Commission (EC) and Haiti under the 10th European Development Fund (EDF). EC assistance under the 10th EDF concentrates on supporting infrastructure and governance. General budget support is foreseen to assist the government in implementing macro-economic reforms and consolidating the state of law. Support will also be provided for a programme including local development of the Dominico-Haitian border region.
The EC's total allocation (2008-2013) foreseen for Haiti under the 10th EDF amounts to €291 million.
Further to the tragic events of January, Commission services are examining the option of reorienting part of the programmes to respond in a more appropriate way to the new priorities.
For further details on projects and programmes in Haiti funded from the European Development Fund and the general budget of the EU, please visit the project's section of the website of the Delegation of the European Union.
Other sources of information
The Directorate-General for Development is responsible for drawing up the cooperation strategy with Haiti.
More information on EU relations with Haiti is available on the pages of the Delegation of the European Union to Haiti, which is responsible for co-operation activities in the country.
Information on trade relations in the ACP region can be found on the website of the Directorate-General for Trade.