Enhancing political stability in Haiti by contributing to efforts that increase inclusivity and confidence in the Haitian-led political transition process.
WHY USAID/OTI IS IN HAITI
The assassination of President Jovenel Moise on July 7, 2021 triggered a constitutional crisis and threw the country into political transition. Efforts to restore political stability and prepare the country for democratic elections are threatened by widespread gang violence, a rise in COVID-19 cases, recovery from recent natural disasters, and mass protests against corruption and worsening security. Criminal organizations have stopped fuel distributions, effectively shutting down the economy and exposing the chronic dysfunction of Haitian institutions. An ongoing political transition process presents an opportunity to pave the way for potential constitutional reform and credible democratic elections.
The USAID/OTI Haiti program is an integral part of the U.S. government’s mission to support Haitian-led efforts to create and sustain a more resilient, prosperous, and democratic future.
USAID/OTI’s ROLE IN HAITI
USAID/OTI launched the Haiti Inclusive Political Process Initiative (HIPPI) in September 2021 to enhance political stability and strengthen the credibility of political transition and electoral processes in Haiti. USAID/OTI will work closely with civil society organizations, local partners, and the media to:
Contribute to efforts that increase inclusivity and confidence in the political transition process; and
Increase understanding of key issues and build relationships with diverse stakeholders essential to the political transition process.
After the program’s launch, a significant increase in political turmoil and related violence further crippled Haiti’s economy and brought daily life to a standstill, particularly in Port-au-Prince. Politically motivated gangs blocked fuel depots and attacked fuel truckers, causing acute fuel shortages and, by extension, power outages, hospital shutdowns, and food shortages. Though a fragile ceasefire went into effect on November 12, kidnappings, violence, and general insecurity continue to trend upward, instilling fear in the population. These developments have increased both the imperative and the complexity of USAID/OTI’s mandate in Haiti.
While insecurity and unpredictable fuel supply constrain people’s movements, HIPPI is launching public perception surveys and research activities to inform future programming, while developing media activities to increase public awareness and participation in the political transition process. HIPPI is also engaging a diverse array of stakeholders to identify and design programming that will help foster a more inclusive national dialogue, build a broad consensus on a political transition process, and create the conditions for credible elections.