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Haiti's economic and social development continues to be hindered by political instability, increasing violence, and unprecedented levels of insecurity, which exacerbate fragility. Haiti remains the poorest country in the Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) region and among the poorest countries in the world. In 2022, Haiti had a GDP per capita of US$ 1745.9 and a GINI index of 41.1. On the United Nations Human Development Index, Haiti ranked 163 out of 191 countries in 2022.

Amid the lingering political and institutional crisis, high vulnerability to natural hazards, coupled with violent gangs vying to gain control over business districts, the economy contracted for four consecutive years by 1.7% in 2019, 3.3% in 2020, 1.8% in 2021, and 1.7% in 2022. GDP is expected to contract by 2.5 percent in FY23. In the baseline, growth is expected to firm up into positive territory with a rebound of 1.3 percent in 2024, assuming the stabilization of the political context and improvements in security.

In such a context, past gains in poverty reduction have been undone. While recent poverty data are unavailable, the latest High-Frequency Phone Survey (HFPS) fielded in March 2023 indicates that two-thirds of households experienced a reduction in their income, which is partly explained by a deterioration in labor market conditions and a drop in remittances from abroad. Only 38 percent of HFPS respondents in March 2023 reported working in the past week, compared to 46 percent at the end of 2021. Moreover, 40 percent of households reported a reduction in remittances relative to the previous month, and over half reported a decrease in help from family and friends. In line with these results, World Bank estimations show that in 2023, poverty likely increase to 34 percent ($2.15/day international poverty line) and 63 percent ($3.65/day).

Haiti remains one of the most vulnerable countries worldwide to natural hazards, mainly hurricanes, floods, and earthquakes.  More than 96 percent of the population is exposed to these types of shocks.  On August 14, 2021, an earthquake measuring magnitude 7.2 on the Richter scale, struck the southern region of Haiti, an area where approximately 1.6 million people live.  

The direct human toll of the earthquake resulted in 2,246 deaths, 12,763 injured, and 329 missing in the three departments of the Southern Peninsula.  In terms of infrastructure, 54,000 houses were destroyed while 83,770 other buildings were damaged, including schools, health facilities, and public buildings.  At the government's request, the World Bank worked with development partners to produce a post-disaster needs assessment (PDNA) to estimate the extent of the damage and chart a path to recovery.  The results of the assessment indicate a total of more than US$1.6 billion in damage and losses or 11% of GDP. The same region was impacted in 2016 by Hurricane Matthew, which caused losses and damages estimated at 13 percent of the 2015 GDP, and the 2010 earthquake which killed approximately 250,000 people and decimated 67 percent of the country’s GDP.  Climate change is expected to increase the frequency, intensity, and impacts of extreme weather events, and Haiti, while making some progress, still lacks adequate preparedness and resilience-building mechanisms.

On the human development front, after three years with no laboratory-confirmed cases, Haiti is experiencing a new cholera outbreak, with a total of 3,835 confirmed cases as of August 27, 2023. Improvements in human capital have therefore stalled and, in some cases, deteriorated since.  Infant and maternal mortality remain at high levels, and coverage of prevention measures is stagnating or declining, especially for the poorest households.

According to the Human Capital Index, a child born today in Haiti will grow up to be only 45 percent as productive as they could be if he or she had enjoyed full access to quality education and healthcare. Over one-fifth of children are at risk of cognitive and physical limitations, and only 78 percent of 15-year-olds will survive to age 60.

Last Updated: Oct 26, 2023

buildings' structural state in Port au Prince have been assessed, crucial to reconstruction planning.


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

*Amounts include IBRD and IDA commitments
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Peleg Charles