1. An Opportunity—the Interim Cooperation Framework (ICF). The majority of Haiti’s population and a disproportionate number of the poor live in the rural areas. About 58% of rural households live in absolute poverty (based on a US$1 a day extreme poverty line). Haiti’s achievement of the Millennium Development Goals is unlikely, especially in rural areas. Over the last few years, the situation has been exacerbated by political and security turmoil and by the limited input of external financial and technical assistance. However, a new era of international collaboration was opened in May 2004 with the formulation of the ICF of which the present study is a product.
2. Objective: The present study aims to update existing knowledge of the rural space, its population, its institutions and its potential for growth; as well as identifying selected interventions that could contribute to growth in the rural sector. This would be achieved by building on households’ own poverty reduction strategies and by taking into account Haiti’s diverse conditions across regions.
3. Key Findings: Overall, investments in education, health, infrastructure, rural institutions, agriculture and social protection are key elements of a balanced national rural development strategy. To be effective, the proper mix of policies is important. Haiti’s assistance to rural areas will need to be differentiated to fit the following typology of the rural poor—based on households’ access to land and their present poverty exit strategies: