USAID and partner the UN World Food Program are providing food assistance for vulnerable populations in Haiti.
USAID and partner the UN World Food Program are providing food assistance for vulnerable populations in Haiti.

Key Developments

Socio-political unrest in Haiti that began in July 2018 and increased in mid-September 2019 has resulted in insecurity, disrupted humanitarian supply chains, and exacerbated humanitarian needs across the country.  Despite relative calm in December 2019 and January 2020, insecurity persists, hindering the ability of Haitians to meet basic needs. The depreciation of the Haitian gourde, fuel shortages, and gang-related roadblocks have limited access to basic services, food, livelihood opportunities, and markets, while impeding humanitarian access to vulnerable populations.  The UN estimates that the crisis has impacted approximately 6.3 million people across Haiti and left an estimated 4.6 million people—more than 40 percent of the country’s population—in need of humanitarian assistance in 2020. 


In response, USAID is supporting humanitarian coordination and logistics efforts in Haiti to ensure relief actors can reach vulnerable populations.  Additionally, USAID partners are conducting activities that aim to build resilience and reduce disaster risks; strengthen livelihoods, shelters, and water, sanitation, and hygiene infrastructure; and bolster national self-sufficiency in emergency preparedness and management.


Haiti’s endemic poverty and civil unrest—combined with recurring shocks from natural disasters, including droughts, earthquakes, floods, and hurricanes—have resulted in food insecurity and other humanitarian needs throughout the country.  Since the January 2010 earthquake and October 2010 cholera outbreak, USAID has focused both on providing immediate response to affected populations and on supporting disaster risk reduction (DRR) programs that promote local and national self-sufficiency in disaster preparedness, response, and management. Since 2010, USAID has provided approximately $186 million to support stand-alone DRR programs throughout Latin America and the Caribbean, including nearly $32.2 million in funding to support DRR efforts in Haiti. In addition to stand-alone DRR programs, USAID contributed nearly $133 million to support programs integrating preparedness and mitigation activities into early recovery and transition programs in response to the January 2010 earthquake and subsequent cholera outbreak in Haiti.


Since 2011, USAID has supported the International Organization for Migration (IOM) to pre-position emergency relief supplies in the event of disasters, as well as to develop Government of Haiti (GoH) personnel capacity to manage facilities and deploy supplies when necessary. Pre-positioning relief commodities—including plastic sheeting, hygiene kits, and water containers—ensured that relief supplies were available for distribution to affected populations immediately following Hurricane Matthew in October 2016, and Hurricane Irma in September 2017.


In recent years, USAID has deployed Disaster Assistance Response Teams (DARTs) to Haiti following Hurricane Matthew and Hurricane Irma to conduct disaster assessments and coordinate response activities with the GoH and humanitarian organizations.

Related Sectors of Work 

Last updated: June 16, 2020

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