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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 2023, Haiti had a GDP per capita of US$ 1694.1 and a GINI index of 41.1. Haiti's Human Development Index (HDI) value for 2022 is 0.552— which put the country in the Medium human development category—positioning it at 158 out of 193 countries and territories on this United Nations metrics, published in March 2024.

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 five consecutive years by 1.7% in 2019, 3.3% in 2020, 1.8% in 2021, 1.7% in 2022, and 1.9 percent in 2023. Tax revenue collection improved in 2023, thanks to tighter controls at customs and increased oil tax revenue. However, the tax-to-GDP ratio remains low at 6.3 percent. Efforts to reduce energy subsidies and cut back on capital spending have contributed to an improved fiscal position, lowering financing needs and supporting fiscal consolidation. Inflation decelerated during the second half of 2023, but the annual inflation rate remained high at 44.2 percent in 2023. Haiti will experience another year of negative growth in 2024 (-1.8 percent) due to heightened insecurity, though the growth path remains highly uncertain and dependent on security improvements and political developments. 

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 survey respondents 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 29.2 percent ($2.15/day international poverty line) and 58.0 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.  

On the human development front, after three years with no laboratory-confirmed cases, Haiti is experiencing a new cholera outbreak, with a total of 4,608 confirmed cases as of January 31st, 2024. 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 2020 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: Apr 18, 2024

people in rural communities benefitted from six completed water supply systems.


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

*Amounts include IBRD and IDA commitments
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Peleg Charles