Inadequate and insufficient healthcare facilities have been a significant roadblock to improving poor healthcare services in Haiti for generations. According to the Ministry of Health, even before the earthquake, Haiti’s health care system was not capable to respond to the population’s need for basic healthcare services. The 2010 earthquake worsened the situation, destroying 50 healthcare centers as well as the Ministry of Health building and further limiting access to healthcare for Haitians. The earthquake also destroyed part of Haiti’s primary teaching hospital, disrupting the education of future healthcare professionals. The challenges resulting from this deficit are compounded by other serious infrastructure shortfalls such as the poor conditions of remaining structures and the lack of clean water and adequate sanitation.
A longstanding challenge in Haiti, the deficit of adequate, affordable housing was significantly exacerbated by the 2010 earthquake. The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) has played a critical role in the housing and settlements sector in Haiti both during the immediate response to the 2010 earthquake and now as Haiti works to rebuild. Having shifted gears from essential emergency relief to long-term development, USAID is now concentrating on finding solutions to barriers for adequate supply of affordable housing stock in the country. By collaborating with the Government of Haiti (GOH) and leveraging key partnerships, USAID is focusing on upgrading infrastructure in existing neighborhoods and increasing access to housing finance. This approach builds on Haitian citizens’ own efforts to secure improved housing and create settlements solutions themselves.
Haiti reports some of the world’s worst health indicators; these numbers reflect a reality, which continues to inhibit citizens’ full participation in the development of a prosperous and stable nation. While Haiti has struggled with poor health outcomes for generations, the already weak health system was further debilitated by the 2010 earthquake, which demolished 50 health centers, part of Haiti’s primary teaching hospital, and the Ministry of Health. Only months later, Haiti’s health care network was further tried by the country’s first cholera outbreak in a century.
The strategy of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) to help Haiti protect its fragile environment and preserve its precious resources is incorporated throughout its development portfolio. In order to create sustainable change, the Agency promotes activities that create environmentally friendly business and income-generating opportunities for Haitians across sectors and skills levels. Building up industries that profit from protecting the environment and augmenting the skills of the public sector to do the same are critical steps forward for a more sustainable Haiti.
Haiti is facing two energy challenges: a broken electricity sector and dependency on charcoal. Even before the 2010 earthquake, the power sector in Haiti was among the most challenged in the region. Only about one-quarter of the population had access to electricity. Of these consumers, half were connected to the electrical grid illegally. In place of a national grid, the national power utility, Electricité d’Haïti (EDH), operates one primary grid serving the Port-au-Prince metropolitan area and a small number of isolated power grids for the rest of the country. Existing distribution systems are weak and require rehabilitation.
Even for those with access to electricity, reliability is inconsistent. Users in Port-au-Prince, for example, have an average of 10 hours of service per day. This lack of reliability requires many businesses and households to install costly, inefficient, and environmentally unfriendly diesel generators. Although residential tariffs in Haiti are relatively low compared with other fossil-fuel-dependent countries in the region, commercial and industrial tariffs are amongst the highest. This lack of access to affordable and reliable power hinders investment, constrains the development of productive businesses, and degrades living standards for residential customers.
Last updated: February 17, 2017