During an official visit to Haiti after the appointment of a new Government, Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, Neven Mimica announced a new EU aid package.
The first of which is a special allocation of €18.5 million (€14.5 million in exceptional budget support and €4 million for an agricultural project) in response to Hurricane Matthew which hit the island in October 2016 and caused widespread damage to housing, agriculture, and infrastructure. The EU had also provided initial emergency relief last year when the hurricane struck the country.
Commissioner Mimica said: "Through our new support we clearly show the solidarity of the European Union towards Haiti. We remain committed to supporting the Haitian population and the reconstruction and stabilisation of the country."
The second part of support through the signature with the Prime Minister S.E.M Jack Guy Lafontant is a €45 million agreement for the construction of the National Road #3, connecting Port-au-Prince to the northern town of Cap Haitian, the second biggest town and port of Haiti.
Commissioner Mimica added: “I am aware that the people of Haiti have suffered for many years from poor road conditions. The EU is committed to the completion of the National Road #3 all the way from Port-au-Prince to Cap Haitian. I am delighted to be signing this project which will help the development of the island. This road will facilitate community access to health centres, schools and other services.”
Haiti remains the poorest country in the Latin America/Caribbean region. It is, in addition one of the most unequal with an alarming Gini coefficient of 0.592 (one of the highest in the world), and chronic political, socio-economic and environmental fragility. Haiti receives around 42% of the financial assistance allocated to the Caribbean region under the 11th European Development Fund (EDF) (2014-2020).
More information on the European Development Fund:
In line with the country context and as reflected in the national development strategies of Haiti, the EU strategic objectives pursued in the 11th EDF include:
- State Reform: to strengthen the capacity of the state to implement effective public policies and deliver social services to the population.
- Education: to enhance social inclusion by facilitating access to high-quality education and vocational training by reinforcing the governance of the education system, improving the quality of the education provided, and supporting the vocational training sub-sector.
- Infrastructure and urban development: to contribute to the harmonious economic and social development of the country as a whole while strengthening the resilience of the population in dealing with extreme events.
- Food security and nutrition: to help reduce the percentage of the population suffering from hunger and malnutrition (Sustainable Development Goal 2).
More information on the EU's crisis response to Hurricane Matthew:
Matthew, a category 4 hurricane, made landfall in Haiti on 4 October 2016, causing widespread flooding and damage to housing, agriculture, and infrastructure. At least 2.1 million people were affected, including 894,000 children. Of them, 1.4 million were in need of assistance, including 500,000 children, with at least 125,000 requiring protection from exploitation, violation, and abuse (United Nations Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs figures of November 2016).
In this context, the European Commission provided humanitarian aid worth € 19.7 million to cover immediate needs in relation to food and nutrition security, water and sanitation, education, shelter and protection.
Furthermore, the Commission mobilised € 18.5 million under the State Building Contract and the Southern Food Security project to support the Government in its post-Matthew reconstruction and agricultural rehabilitation efforts.