The U.N. and other aid agencies have characterized the January 12, 2010, earthquake in Haiti as the largest urban disaster in modern history. The earthquake affected an estimated 3 million people, including approximately 1.5 million people displaced to 1,300 settlements sites throughout Port-au-Prince. One of the biggest challenges following the earthquake has been to provide shelter to those who lost their houses. The more than 10 million cubic meters of debris created by the earthquake have hindered reconstruction efforts. Furthermore, unclear property rights and lack of land titles complicated shelter recovery efforts. The loss of critical records in the earthquake has made identifying the rightful owners of land extremely difficult, and this has exacerbated the problem of identifying land for housing.
Two years since the earthquake struck Haiti, USAID—working closely with other U.S. Government agencies and the international community, and in support of the Government of Haiti’s objectives—has provided significant support for the emergency response and recovery process, and has provided a base for long-term sustainable development in the areas of infrastructure, energy, economic security, food security, health, education, and democracy and governance. Together with the Haitian people, the Government of Haiti, and the international community, USAID and the U.S. Government are continuing to help to build a stable and economically viable Haiti.
Since the earthquake, USAID has:
- Partnered with the international community to provide basic emergency shelter assistance to 1.5 million people.
- Provided shelter solutions—including transitional shelters (t-shelters), repairs to damaged houses, and support to host families housing people displaced after the earthquake—to more than 320,000 people.
- Collected, recorded, and validated land tenure and occupancy status of more than 8,800 plots/buildings.
- Removed 2.2 million cubic meters of rubble of the approximately 5 million cubic meters of rubble removed by the international community, Government of Haiti, individuals households, and private firms. (An estimated 10 million cubic meters of rubble was created by the earthquake).
- Began construction on a 10 MW power facility to provide electricity to the new Caracol Industrial Park.
- Began upgrading 5 electrical substations in Port-au-Prince that sustained damaged during the earthquake.
- Supported the creation of the Haiti Apparel Center (HAC), which trained more than 1,900 machine operators, mechanics, and inspectors this past year, 41 percent of whom were women.
- Provided financing valued at nearly $10 million to a total of 46 microfinance institutions and financial cooperatives, which support underserved populations and MSMEs in several sectors―including agriculture.
- Provided more than 7,860 agricultural loans to farmers for coffee, mango, and cocoa production, allowing farmers to improve crop production and access markets directly.
- Leveraged private capital from financial institutions for the disbursement of 560 loans valued at $5.1 million since the earthquake in key areas of post-earthquake recovery, including agriculture and construction.
- Partnered with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to launch the first mobile money campaign in Haiti―which allows Haitians to conduct person to person transactions with their cell phones. As of mid-2011, more than 150,000 clients had registered to use mobile money services, and a network of 750 new mobile money agents were functioning in Haiti.
- Increased agricultural-related income of beneficiary rural households by 76 percent by rehabilitating irrigation systems, rural roads and supporting storage and processing facilities.
- Introduced improved seeds, fertilizer, and technologies to more than 9,700 farmers; these have increased rice yields by 64 percent, corn yields by 338 percent, bean crops by 97 percent, and plantain outputs by 21 percent for beneficiary farmers.
- Trained more than 30,000 people in natural resource management, including soil conservation, tree nurseries, and hillside production. As a result, 23,000 hectares of farmland are now under improved natural resource management.
- Graduated more than 700 people from a master farmers program, approximately 25 percent of whom were women.
- Increased income of 5,000 cacao growers by a minimum of 25 percent through partnerships with private sector entities to train farmers in cocoa production.
- Provided mobile collection centers, sorting tables, and 6,000 plastic crates for mango harvesting, increasing mango sales by three farmer associations to exporters by more than 65 percent.
- Increased economic benefits derived from sustainable natural resource management and conservation, benefitting nearly 150,000 people through ravine treatment, hillside rehabilitation, and improved technologies that have improved the quality of crop output.
- Continued to support 251 sites that provide primary care and 52 that provide secondary care nationwide, to nearly 50 percent of the Haitian population.
- Provided HIV counseling and testing services for nearly 170,000 pregnant women in 2011, an all-time high.
- Identified and treated more than 2,900 people with symptomatic tuberculosis. Immunization programs vaccinated nearly 157,000 children under age one in 2011 for routine childhood diseases. We also provided more than 350,000 antenatal care visits and more than 131,000 post-partum/newborn care visits.
- Funded St. Boniface Spinal Cord Injury Center to help 24 spinal cord injury patients, 12 of whom have been successfully discharged back to their communities.
- Constructed more than 600 semi-permanent furnished classrooms, enabling more than 60,000 children to return to school following the earthquake.
- Provided teaching and learning kits to accommodate a double shift of students in each classroom, reaching approximately 60,000 students and 1,200 teachers.
- Increased physical access in 17 primary schools for people with disabilities and provision of inclusive education training to 150 teachers and school principals.
- Trained 935 teachers on pedagogy and student evaluation.
- Trained 145 administrators and other Ministry of Education officials on administration, information system management, and training of trainers.
- Completed vocational training for youth, with 13,000 successfully transitioning to formal school, further vocational training, or other opportunities.
Governance and Rule of Law
- Completed construction of a temporary Parliament building in November 2011.
- Supported a pilot project to increase tax revenues in St. Marc, which resulted in an approximately 500 percent increase in paid taxes.
- During the most recent Presidential elections, provided technical assistance to and support for presidential debates, attended by 250 people and broadcast nationally on more than 30 radio stations; and deployed more than 7,000 people to observe the elections.
- Since October 2010, assistance led to the processing 417 cases and the release of 50 individuals held in pro-longed pre-trial detention and provided legal assistance to more than 4,400 individuals.
- Reconstructed more than 18,500 case files damaged, destroyed, or in disarray after the earthquake.