Haiti is a fragile Caribbean country facing multiple structural development challenges: a high dependence on fossil fuel, a vulnerability to natural disasters, political instability, economic fragility, a food and nutrition crisis, and a persistent cholera epidemic.
As a result, Haiti is the poorest and most inequitable country in the region. Poverty, insecurity, and corruption have become structural and public distrust in government is widespread.
Haiti is still recovering from the devastation caused by the 7.0 magnitude earthquake that shook the country in 2010, compounded by the effects of hurricane Matthew in 2016, which led to a loss of 32% of the national added value.
International aid to Haiti has progressively decreased over the years (-30% since 2013) while the country’s challenges remain. Our priority for Haiti is to help the country build its resilience, resolve its structural weaknesses, while bringing short-term relief to the most vulnerable. Given the country’s fragility, the EU’s humanitarian aid and development cooperation strategies remain closely linked in the Haitian context. Particular emphasis is given to create an efficient link between relief, rehabilitation, and development (LRRD) to ensure a smooth transition between short- and long-term assistance.
3 main agreements frame the EU’s relations with Haiti:
the Caribbean-EU partnership strategy (2012), which lists Haiti’s reconstruction among its priorities
the EU-CARIFORUM economic partnership agreement, which Haiti signed in 2009
Under the 11th European Development Fund (EDF) national indicative programme (2014-2020), we set aside €420 millions for Haiti, focusing on 4 priority areas:
government capacity-building to ensure quality and reliable public services
social inclusion, based on quality education and vocational training
urban development and infrastructure
food security and nutrition
Our support is in line with Haiti’s own development strategy and foresees also horizontal technical assistance and civil society support. It is implemented through budget support and a project approach.
We also support activities in the fields of human rights, environment, agriculture, and trade, via different instruments.
Aside from bilateral support, Haiti also benefits from a regional programme aiming at strengthening socioeconomic relations between Haiti and its neighbour, the Dominican Republic, by developing binational industries and trade. The programme is meant to foster dialogue and prevent commercial or migration tensions between these two countries.
Haiti is also a beneficiary of several thematic instruments:
Under the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR), several projects are implemented in Haiti to fight violence against women and promote women’s, children’s and LGBTI people’s rights
The thematic programme for civil society organisations and local authorities (CSO-LA) supports civil society empowerment in Haiti to reinforce the democratic process and build a more equitable and open society.
The Global Climate Change Alliance (GCCA) builds Haiti’s capacity to deal with climate change effects, through several adaptation projects and the creation of a dedicated climate change directorate.
Under the Instrument contributing to Stability and Peace (IcSP), a migration programme addresses the migration issues between Haiti and the Dominican Republic, by monitoring migration flows, assisting vulnerable migrants, and supporting Haiti’s public administration dealing with identification and regularisation.