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Four years on from the Haiti earthquake: The EU’s response

European Commission - MEMO/14/3   09/01/2014

Other available languages: FR

European Commission

MEMO

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.

Education

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.

Urban development

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.

Food security

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:

  1. Updating the national food and nutritional security plan

  2. An improved data collection and analysis system and is being put in place to help the Government in predicting food shortages and put in place appropriate mitigation measures.

  3. Improving the information system on food security

  4. Strengthening family agriculture though improved access to inputs, credits and watershed management

  5. Establishing a quality control and a certification system for agricultural products and livestock.

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:

  1. facilitating the return of those still displaced;

  2. ensuring treatment for cholera patients and reinforce the Haitian health institutions to enable them to cope with the disease, as well as focusing on prevention, with water, sanitation and hygiene activities, including treatment facilities, and the promotion of hygiene activities, benefitting around 3 million people;

  3. working on Disaster Risk Reduction and preparedness of communities and institutions to better face natural hazards.

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.

Results include:

  1. Support for microcredit through 11 financial cooperatives (€2 M)

  2. Support for the fishing industry on the Ile de la Gonâve- benefitting 600 fishermen and 16 associations (1.5 M).

  3. Support for food security for around 5,000 rural families in the centre west and Central Plateau regions, through hill lakes and rehabilitation of irrigation systems.

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:

http://ec.europa.eu/echo/aid/caribbean_pacific/haiti_en.htm

To find out more about our work in Haiti:

http://eeas.europa.eu/delegations/haiti/index_fr.htm


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