In 2018, Haiti suffered a period of severe drought, floods and an earthquake, at a time the country is still facing epidemics of cholera, diphtheria and malaria, a migration crisis with the voluntary or forced displacement of Haitian populations from the Dominican Republic or other countries in the Latin American and Caribbean region, and recurrent protection problems.
Before presenting data and analysis, it should be understood that this report examines life in the rural Grand Anse from the perspective of resiliency and adaptation. People living in the region are adapted to 200-plus years of natural and manmade calamities. Natural calamities include droughts, floods, hurricanes, and earthquakes.
Haiti has a vision to become an emerging economy by 2030. Haiti’s geography, resources, and history provide it with opportunities. The country has comparative advantages, including its proximity and access to major markets; a young labor force and a dynamic diaspora; and substantial geographic, historical, and cultural assets.
Haiti is one of the least developed countries in the world and has faced many challenges in its development process due to its vulnerability to natural disasters and fragility. The frequent natural disasters are particularly devastating because they directly affect the large share of the population that lives in rural areas and depends on agriculture as a primary livelihood source.
Natural and human-induced hazards (storms, floods, and droughts) have highly destructive impacts on buildings, land, water, livestock, and people in Haiti. The poorest Haitians, including low-income women, children, and elderly people, are especially vulnerable. There is already evidence of climate change, including higher mean temperatures and altered rainfall patterns.
In February 2010, Haiti, particularly the capital Port-au-Prince was hit by an earthquake that caused extensive damage and loss. In 2008-2009, prior to the earthquake, UN-Habitat undertook an urban planning assessment of the metropolitan area of Port-au-Prince, which hosts more than 40% of the Haitian population.
The Port-au-Prince urban livelihoods baseline contains detailed, quantified information on the food, income and expenditure patterns of the urban poor. The assessment was conducted at a time of relative security and price stability from April to May 2009. Thus this baseline provides a picture of the urban poor as they were following the hurricanes, price rises and food riots of 2008. In conjunction with monitoring data, the baseline is a powerful tool that can be used for ongoing analysis of food and livelihood security in the slums of Port-au-Prince.
This paper represents the Haiti National Report prepared in the context of the Global Environment Facility (GEF) approved Project Development Facility Block B (PDF B) entitled Integrating Watershed and Coastal Areas Management in Small Island Developing States in the Caribbean whose major objective is to identify common problems and specific recommendations to be included in a future full-scale project intended to improve watershed and coastal zone policy and practices in support of sustainable development in the region.