Poverty rate*60% of the population live under the poverty line of $1.90 per day
UN DEVELOPMENT INDEX*Rank: 169 out of 188
People supported per year75,773
Thematic focusDisaster Risk Management
Sustainable and Inclusive Economies
Gender and Social Equity
Haiti is located on the boundary between the Caribbean and North American tectonic plates. This is why the island suffers frequently from earthquakes. 300’000 people died in 2010 in Haiti’s worst quake in 200 years. Over 1.5 million were left homeless. Recently, Haiti was struck by several hurricanes that inflicted new damage on an already fragile infrastructure. Helvetas has been active in Haiti on a regular basis since 1983, supporting emergency relief and restoration.
Supporting governance and accompany the actors in their roles
Haiti is operating in a difficult socio-economic context characterized above all by high unemployment, accelerated population growth and weak governance that is delaying the development process. Helvetas and its partners (including state and decentralized intuitions) support development in Haiti based on the strengthening of participatory and inclusive local governance. Organizations and institutions are supported and strengthened in their respective missions and roles to encourage the creation of an environment conducive to employment, the development of local potential, and the provision of sustainable services to the population.
Helvetas and its partners support governance processes and services, particularly in the sectors of potable water and sanitation, the environment and disaster risk management, agriculture and nutrition, education and youth employment.
The promotion of social equity, including gender equality, is transversal to all interventions. Helvetas strives to identify good practices at the local level to promote the replication of successful interventions.
Daring to decentralize potable water and sanitation services
In Haiti more than 40% of the population does not have access to safe drinking water according to the latest World Bank study published in 2019 (Looking Beyond Water Supply). The financial resources devoted to the water supply and sanitation sector are not sufficient. Helvetas and its partners (including the national Authority of Water and Sanitation) provide innovative solutions and have a positive influence on the development of potable water and sanitation service, in the municipalities where it operates. Helvetas supports the capacity building of the communes (town halls) and dialogue with water users in order to provide more access to water and sanitation for their citizens. Awareness-raising for behavioral change in hygiene and environmental protection of water resources are also key areas of work.
Increasing the voice and autonomy of more than one million forgotten farmers
Agriculture is one of the key economic sectors of work in Haiti, accounting for nearly 30% of gross internal product (GDP). Nearly 1 million farms (0.6 ha on average) provide nearly 60% of employment. Helvetas and its partners (including the Directorate of Innovation of the Ministry of Agriculture) support the networking of farmers organizations to participate in dialogue in the search for solutions to the problems identified in agriculture. They support farmers in promoting new agricultural techniques, access to appropriate credit and the search for new markets for the sale of products, in order to strengthen food security and farmers' incomes.
Taking disaster risks management into account
Haiti is in the annual path of hurricanes and is crossed by seismic tectonic plates in constant activity. Heavy rains, strong winds, floods, landslides, and droughts are annual occurrences causing material damage, destruction of livelihoods, and loss of life. Helvetas and its partners (including the Civil Protection Department) work to improve the resilience of the most vulnerable communities, including women and children. They support the preparation of institutions (including town halls), organizations and individuals for better territorial planning, risk preparedness and emergency management. Taking risks into account in the different sectors of activity (drinking water, agriculture, infrastructure, etc.) is a cross-cutting awareness-raising initiative.
Restoring the confidence of young people and integrating them into the job market
Most children and young people under the age of 25 (56% of the total population) come from modest backgrounds and have no qualifications or certification and are therefore not recognized by the labor market. Employment is therefore one of Haiti's major challenges, and vocational training offers a clear opportunity for integration. Helvetas and its partners are helping to boost young people's access to jobs and income in high-potential economic sectors by providing them with skills that are more appropriate and more focused on real market needs. They encourage training centers to include internships in companies in their courses and to work to strengthen professional associations. Helvetas advocates making the most of the skills acquired by experienced bosses and strengthening links with vocational training centers.
Visit the website of Helvetas Haiti.
Our Projects in Central America
If you would like to know more about our work in Haiti, click on each project for details.