Six years after the magnitude 7.0 earthquake struck Haiti on January 12, 2010, Haiti has moved from recovery to longer term development as it continues to improve infrastructure and strengthen institutions, work toward increasing access to and quality of education, health and other services, and stimulate investment.

Although significant challenges remain, Haiti has seen a number of positive developments since the earthquake:

  • Of the 1.5 million internally displaced people, more than 1.4 million have left the camps and relocated. Reconstruction programs are repairing and building safer housing and upgrading neighborhood infrastructure.
  • Haitians children have benefitted from better access to primary education, where participation rates of school-age children rose from 78 to 90 percent. However, the quality of education and learning remains a challenge. Only one third of all children aged 14 are in the appropriate grade for their age.
  • Extreme poverty has fallen from 31 to 24% over the last decade, especially in urban areas, and foremost in Port au Prince. However, sustainability, targeting, and coverage remain significant challenges. Only 8 percent of the Haitian population received noncontributory social assistance benefits in 2012, such as scholarships, food aid, and other transfers.
  • The tourism sector is growing with several new hotels in Port au Prince and an increase in international travelers by nearly 20% in the last couple of years.

Nevertheless, much remains to be done to reduce poverty and improve the wellbeing of Haitians.


President Michel Martelly stepped down at the end of his constitutional mandate on Feb. 7 and without an elected successor, lawmakers chose the Senate chief Jocelerme Privert to lead a caretaker government.  President Privert is mainly tasked to organize for a new provisional government, install a new electoral commission to investigate fraud allegations during 2015 elections, and finalize the presidential, parliamentarian and municipal election. .


After a 5.5% contraction in GDP in 2010 due to the earthquake, Haiti experienced from 2011 to 2015 a real growth rate averaging 3.4% and a per capita GDP growth of 2.0%, spurred in part by high levels of reconstruction aid and remittances.

Overall economic activity last year only expanded by 1.7 percent, down from 2.8 percent the previous year. This expansion was supported by relatively strong growth in manufacturing and hospitality (growing at 3.5 percent and 5.0 percent, respectively), but was hampered by agriculture (contracting by 3.5 percent). With a decline in investment and concerns about the spring harvest, economic growth could further decelerate this year to 0.9 percent.

The bad harvest is also putting pressure on prices. Inflation has accelerated to 14.4% year on year percent at end of February, mostly driven by higher local food prices following droughts in several parts of the country.

A major challenge for Haiti will be to manage the substantial decrease in donor financing, as well as its access to concessional financing through the Petrocaribe agreement. This will likely constrain Haiti’s capital investments, which have increased over the last three years, but with limited impact on growth. With scarce resources, efficient and effective use of domestic and external resources will remain crucial. 

Haiti remains the poorest country in the Americas and one of the poorest in the world (with a GDP per capita of US$ 846 in 2014) with significant needs in basic services. According to the latest household survey (ECVMAS 2012), more than 6 million out of 10.4 million (59%) Haitians live under the national poverty line of US$ 2.42 per day and over 2.5 million (24%) live under the national extreme poverty line of US$1.23 per day. It is also one of the most unequal countries, with a Gini coefficient of 0.61 as of 2012.

The new World Bank Group country partnership framework - endorsed by the board in September 2015 - aims to support Haiti’s efforts to provide economic opportunities for all Haitians and reduce poverty in the country.  The strategy had a long consultation process which helped identify what the country needs and looked at how the WBG can best respond to some of the country’s biggest challenges.

It was jointly prepared by the Haitian Government, and the World Bank Group (WBG), comprised of the International Development Association (IDA), International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) and identifies three main areas for support:

  • Generate greater economic opportunities outside Port-au-Prince by increasing energy access and developing renewable energy; improving access to finance; and supporting a more competitive and productive private sector through public and private infrastructure in energy and ports. 
  • Strengthen human capital and access to services through better primary schools, improved maternal and child health services, combined with greater access to water and sanitation in communes most affected by cholera, as well as health prevention and treatment. 
  • Enhance climate resilience by improving disaster response capacity and increasing the number of Haitians protected by new investments in flood mitigation and other climate resilient infrastructures, including drainage, reinforced bridges and all weather roads. 

An underlining focus is to strengthen institutions and Government capacity, and improve public financial management in the context of rapidly declining aid and concessional financing.

Following an exceptional IDA allocation post-earthquake, IDA’s new allocation amounts to US$111 million. This allocation could be leveraged through global trust funds.

The World Bank’s portfolio in Haiti comprises 13projects, with a net committed amount of US $ 718.2 million (as of April 1st  2016). The program finances government project in areas such as disaster risk management, housing, electricity, transport infrastructure, water and sanitation, agriculture, education, health, regional development, private sector growth, and public financial management.

Support for the private sector

The investment climate in Haiti is hampered by a number of challenges, including business environment, land availability and ownership rights, access to basic infrastructure, logistic and financial services, and access to skills. IDA resources finances tourism in the North, transport connectivity and market infrastructure in the Centre and Artibonite regions, the development of regional value chains in each of the 10 departments, and technical assistance on financial inclusion.

In addition to IDA, the World Bank Group engages in Haiti’s private sector through an active portfolio of IFC, the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the private sector. IFC’s strategy in Haiti is twofold:

  • Creating immediate jobs, access to basic infrastructure, and income opportunities by making catalytic investments despite remaining challenges;
  • Supporting the development of a sustainable and inclusive economy, through advisory programs that help address challenges and foster a more conducive environment for investors and for micro, small, and medium enterprises.

IFC’s committed portfolio in Haiti amounts to US$114 million, including US$22 million mobilized from other partners. IFC has supported most of Haiti’s flagship private sector projects before and after the earthquake; its combined investment and advisory projects in Haiti have helped create 5,000 new jobs and safeguard 5,000 existing jobs. IFC operates in sectors such as hospitality, energy, financial markets, and manufacturing.

Through our advisory programs with the private sector and the government, IFC supports access to finance, public-private partnerships, improvements to Haiti’s investment climate, and programs that make small and medium enterprises more productive. These programs have supported the business training of nearly 3,000 entrepreneurs and managers (45% of whom are women), through partner SOFIHDES. MiCRO, an IFC Advisory Services project, insures 60,000 micro-entrepreneurs against natural disasters. 

Over the last four years the World Bank has financed about 279 000 school fee waivers for primary students in non-public schools, about 237,000 daily meals reaching about 81,000 students per year, and grants for 2,824 schools, allowing them to re-open after the 2010 earthquake

  • Financed rental subsidies for more than 50,000 people to move from camps to safer housing
  • Upgraded neighborhood infrastructure in areas badly damaged by the earthquake, including improved roads and drainage, better street lighting, and reinforced ravines for 200,000 people.
  • Rebuilt or repaired housing for more than 12,000 people
  • Provided for cholera treatment and prevention education for over 3 million people and water treatment products and/or soap to nearly 600,000 people
  • Supported more than 200 cholera treatment units and oral rehydration posts with personnel and/or supplies; and trained over 6,000 health and hygiene agents and medical personnel
  • Improved access to clean water for 60,000 people in Southern
  • Financed solar-powered street lights that benefited 18,000 people
  • Repaired the road from Port au Prince to Jacmel, enabling half a million people in Southern Haiti to remain connected to the capital

International Finance Cooperation:

  • Codevi, a garment manufacturing company, is one of the largest private sector employers in Haiti. It employs about 7,000 workers and is expected to add 2,000 over the next three years. About 30,000 people in the northern town of Ouanaminthe, where Codevi is located, derive their livelihoods from indirect jobs associated with the company’s operations
  • E-Power has increased the installed electric production capacity in the Port au Prince metropolitan area by 35 percent; the company generates power for 1.59 million customers
  • Teleco, the national phone company was losing $1 million a month and barely serving 20,000 customers. NATCOM, a public-private partnership supported by IFC, now serves about 1.7 million subscribers
  • Nearly 3,000 entrepreneurs and managers received business training through a partner SOFIHDES
  • Approximately 60,000 low income micro-entrepreneurs are insured against natural disasters through an IFC/Micro/Fonkoze partnership. This helps protect their livelihoods against weather-related risks and natural disasters

Haiti Reconstruction Fund (HRF)

At the request of the Government of Haiti, the World Bank established the Haiti Reconstruction Fund (HRF) in March 2010, in partnership with the Inter-American Development Bank, the United Nations and 19 contributing donors countries. The HRF has emerged as the largest source of flexible finance for reconstruction. The World Bank serves as the Fund’s trustee and secretariat, as well as supervises some of the activities financed by the HRF. Contributions to the HRF total $396 million, of which $386 million has been received as of June 2015. Since the Fund began operations in June 2010, $342,3 million has been allocated to 25 projects addressing post-quake issues in debris management, relocation and housing of displaced people, rehabilitation of public infrastructure and spaces, and disaster risks management, as well as, long and medium term development issues, such as education, energy and private sector development. The HRF-financed activities supported the Government in achieving results including:

  • Removing over 900,000 cubic meters of debris in urban neighborhoods;
  • Supporting the repair and rebuilding of near 2,600 houses;
  • Facilitating the closing more than 50 camps and providing housing solutions for over 24,000 displaced households;
  • Contracts were signed to deliver food to total of 252 schools and covering more than 93,000 students per day for current school year;
  • More than 500,000 plants have been planted in the buffer zone of the park Makaya by agroforestry operators;
  • Creating nearly 4,500 jobs as part of road rehabilitation and home reconstruction;
  • Establishing 12 Community Resource Centers to facilitate planning, coordination and information sharing on local development and reconstruction;
  • Distributing more than 14,000 school supply kits, 24,000 school uniforms and 76,000 textbooks throughout the country; and
  • Training more than 900 teachers.


Haiti: Commitments by Fiscal Year (in millions of dollars)*

*Amounts include IBRD and IDA commitments