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Brussels, 9 January 2014
Four years on from the Haiti earthquake: The EU’s response
On 12 January 2010, Haiti was struck by a devastating earthquake that took 222,750 people's lives, injured many thousands and made 1.7 million homeless.
How the EU responded
Since day one, the European Union has responded to the needs of the Haitian population; providing both immediate humanitarian relief on a massive scale, while boosting its development aid.
To this day, EU action has helped to save lives, provide shelter, food and health services, rebuild roads, schools and hospitals and support the Haitian authorities in the reconstruction process.
Besides responding to the post-earthquake humanitarian crisis, the European Union has continued to provide cooperation aid to Haiti, aiming to eradicate poverty, improve living standards and encourage long-term socio-economic development.
EU aid reaches one Haitian in every two.
The EU has provided €883 m for Haiti between 2008 and 2013. Since 2010, the EU has committed €570 million for financing projects in a number of priority areas, such as supporting the State's budget, rehabilitation of roads, agriculture, education, human rights, food security, electoral assistance and support to trade.
As well as providing humanitarian and development aid, the EU and Haiti are engaged in a regular political dialogue aimed at advancing democracy, human rights, the rule of law, security and regional cooperation.
The EU has been a partner of Haiti since 1989, when the country joined the African, Caribbean and Pacific (or ACP) group of countries. This partnership was renewed as part of the Cotonou Agreement, which was concluded in 2000.
Future EU Cooperation with Haiti – 2014- 2020
The EU recently announced that it will provide €420m to Haiti, between 2014 and 2020 under the 11th European Development Fund (EDF).
This support will focus on a few key areas; education, reform of the state, modernisation of public administration, urban development and infrastructure, and food security and nutrition.
Our support on education will help to improve the quality of the country’s education system by developing the initial and life-long professional training of teachers, by improving the quality and ensuring standardisation of the national curriculum. We will also support access to primary education for children with deficiencies. In order to increase employability of youth and business development, the EU will also work towards the development of the quality and offer of vocational training.
In urban development, the EU will support the country’s most vulnerable areas, providing inhabitants with a better quality of life, thanks to the planned and managed development of urban areas, improved roads and access to essential services (water, sanitation, electricity and waste collection).
The EU will also support communities in building their own houses in a safer hurricane- and earthquake-proof way so as to ensure increased resilience to future disasters.
The EU will increase its support to improving the population’s access to food, by, for example, increasing agricultural production, and the commercialisation of agricultural products, as well as education on nutrition. Other examples of activities include:
Support for the State
Between 2014 and 2020, the EU will support the building of Haiti’s state in order to increase the government’s ability to reduce poverty, improve access to basic services and stimulate growth.
Specific support will be provided for the modernisation of the public administration, improving the public finance system, as well as transparency of public spending and the fight against corruption. A new budget support programme of €112m has just been adopted and will commence in January 2014.
Humanitarian response – helping to meet urgent needs on the ground
The EU's humanitarian response to the earthquake has continued throughout 2013, addressing the prevalent humanitarian needs.
Total humanitarian aid to Haiti 2011-2013 has now reached €91.25 million.
ECHO's main areas of work have been:
Additional aid has been given following extensive damage caused by Tropical Storm Isaac in August 2012 (€3 million) and Hurricane Sandy in October 2012 (€6 million).
Haiti is also the largest beneficiary of the European Commission's humanitarian aid in Latin America and the Caribbean, with over €294.25 million in humanitarian aid since 1995.
In 2010, ECHO allocated €122 million to provide assistance to the victims of the earthquake and the cholera epidemic. In addition to this, funds from already on-going programs totaling €8.5 million were redirected to be used in the earthquake response.
Results of EU support in Haiti
Spotlight on education
The PARQE programme
The EU has supported the Haitian state in improving quality and access to primary education, through the PARQE (Programme de renforcement de la qualité de l'éducation en Haïti, or Programme for the Improvement of Quality Education), for which we have provided €48.5 million.
Thanks to the programme, 17 schools and educational support centres have been created across Haiti, and more than 370 schools in four departments have been rehabilitated. This support has meant that around 150,000 children have benefitted from an improved education. Pupils have also received manuals and school kits, and teachers have received educational material.
Spotlight on agriculture
The EU has provided €69.2m for agriculture in Haiti, including food security and rural development, between 2008 and 2013.
Spotlight on the private sector
‘Haiti is open for business’
The EU is providing support to President Martelly’s new ‘Haiti is Open for Business’ initiative, which aims to boost the country’s competitiveness and economy. The EU has provided €9.3m in order to help Haiti to improve trade, through, for example, setting up the Bureau of Standards, with €1m, and creation of industrial microparcs - sites, equipped for industrial use that are rented out by the government to private operators and therefore support the start-up of industrial activities.
Spotlight on the binational programme with the Dominican Republic
In support of regional integration with its neighbouring country, this EU programme aims to improve the relationships between the two countries through increased trade links and local development, as well as environmental protection in the border areas.
For Further Information
For more on DG EuropeAid: http://ec.europa.eu/europeaid
For more on DG ECHO: http://ec.europa.eu/echo
For more on DG ECHO's work in Haiti:
To find out more about our work in Haiti: