Haiti: From recovery to sustainable development

On 12th January 2010 a devastating earthquake hit Haiti. More than 200,000 people were killed, 1.5 million were displaced, and over 300,000 buildings were destroyed in the 7.0 magnitude quake.

Since then, Haiti has successfully pulled through the humanitarian recovery phase and seen significant socio-economic gains. The country has steadily boosted the net enrollment rate in primary education and achieved equal participation of boys and girls. The prevalence of HIV/AIDS has stabilized, and nearly 70 percent of households now have access to an improved source of water. Achievements like these seemed impossible in early 2010.

Yet as Haiti moves toward long-term, sustainable development, the country faces significant challenges. The political system remains fragile, sustainable jobs are scarce, and the environment is still as vulnerable now as it was then.


  • Nearly 100% of the 10 million cubic debris removed from the streets and 20% recycled.
  • Over 96% of the displaced people have returned home
  • In 2015, the first methodological guide on urban risk management was launched with financing from the European Union

UNDP support

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.  

Governance and Rule of Law

Thirty percent of Haitian civil servants were lost in the earthquake, so increasing capacity and human resources for public administration is a priority. UNDP aims to boost efficiency, with a particular focus on justice, elections and regional and urban planning.

In 2015, UNDP helped update the internal regulations of judiciary organs (5 Appeal Courts, 18 Courts of First Instance and 179 Courts of Peace).

Since August 9, 2015, a critical electoral process is underway, and is due to culminate in the renewal of all the country’s democratically elected institutions - including all local government representatives, the two chambers of parliament, and the presidency. In close co-operation with international partners and with MINUSTAH, UNDP is managing the elections basket fund; supporting electoral participation and civic education, with a special focus on women and youth; and strengthening the capacity of the National Electoral Council and the National Identification Office.

Recovery and poverty reduction

Encouraging earthquake-affected Haitians to return safely to their home neighborhoods and resume everyday life is important to UNDP’s approach to reconstruction. Near 100% of the 10 million cubic meter of debris were removed from the streets and more than 20 percent recycled.

Over 96 % of the displaced people have returned home (60801 are still in 45 mini camps). In 2015 , UNDP  finalized the construction of six schools to host 1040 children. UNDP also supported vocational training in debris management, recycling, earthquake resistant construction and riverbank protection.

In collaboration with the Ministry of Trade and Industry, UNDP launched the Laboratory for Innovation and Economic Development (IDE) Project for the training of young entrepreneurs in late 2014. Young people whose projects are selected receive professional training in the field of business management and are supervised by a microfinance institution in setting up their businesses.

Disaster risk reduction

Haiti remains very vulnerable to disasters. Boosting resilience is a priority, and UNDP is supporting the country’s Directorate of Civil Protection to better prepare for emergencies, implement a national disaster risk management system, improve risk management and develop longer term projects that support recovery and sustainable development.

In 2015, 63 operators and technicians of the National Center of Equipment were trained and the first methodological guide on urban risk management (in French) launched with financing from the European Union.  


Lack of forests and the degradation of ecosystems increases Haiti’s vulnerability to natural disasters. Taking into account the significant environmental differences in regions of the country, UNDP supports Haiti in ecosystem management, focusing on drainage basins, adaptation to climate change, and adopting alternative energy sources.  

In 2015, Haiti submitted its Planned Contribution determined at national level to provide for a reduction from 5% to 31% in emissions by 2030.

Fighting AIDS and Tuberculosis

In 2015,  93% of TB and HIV-positive patients received treatment for co-infection and 2,461 HIV-positive pregnant women were placed on antiretroviral therapy to prevent transmission from mother to child.

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