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Overview

  • Haiti is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, with a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita of US$797 and a Human Development Index ranking of 169 out of 189 countries in 2019.  According to the Human Capital Index, a child born today in Haiti will grow up to be only 45% as productive as they could be if he/she had enjoyed full education and health. However, the country has been successful in containing the cholera outbreak, with zero laboratory-confirmed cases since January 2019.

    The latest official poverty estimate (2012) suggested that over 6 million Haitians lived below the poverty line of US$2.41 per day, and more than 2.5 million fell below the extreme poverty line of US$1.12 per day. The poverty gap between urban and rural areas has increased.

    Recurrent episodes of institutional and political instability have hindered Haiti’s economic and social development. GDP annual growth averaged only 1.3% over the past two decades. GDP is estimated to have contracted by 1.4% in 2019, and the country has experienced rapid currency depreciation (25.5%), and rampant inflation (17.3%) at the end of the fiscal year.

    The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the already weak economy and political instability in Haiti. While the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Haiti remains relatively low compared to other countries in the region, the number of cases has been rising, and the country is still very vulnerable. COVID-19 is expected to lead to significant economic losses and could set back poverty reduction efforts. The pandemic is expected to disproportionately affect the poor and most vulnerable populations, including women, reinforcing existing social inequalities. Economic growth is expected to decline to GDP by 3.1 % in 2020 as the service sector contracts, supply chains are disrupted, and remittances fall as the global economy heads into recession. The fiscal deficit is expected to widen to over 6% of GDP (from a pre-COVID-19 forecast of 3%) and inflation is expected to reach over 20%. The pace and shape of economic recovery will depend on the progression of the pandemic and its ramifications throughout the global economy, and progress toward resolution of the lingering political crisis.

    In addition to the challenges posed by the pandemic, Haiti remains highly vulnerable to natural hazards, mainly hurricanes, floods and earthquakes. More than 96% of the population is exposed to these natural hazards. Hurricane Matthew, which hit the country in 2016, caused losses and damages estimated at 32% of 2015 GDP. Climate change is expected to increase the frequency, intensity, and impacts of extreme weather events in the country.

    Last Updated: Oct 20, 2020

  • The World Bank Group Country Partnership Framework (CPF) for Haiti was discussed by the Board of Directors in September 2015 and updated in 2018 through the Performance and Learning Review. It is designed to support the country’s efforts to provide economic opportunities for all its people and to combat poverty.

    Remaining within the broad parameters of the Haiti CPF, the WBG program was adjusted in 2020 to support the Government of Haiti’s response to COVID-19 crises. These adjustments align with the four pillars of the WBG COVID-19 Crisis Response Approach Paper “Saving Lives, Scaling-up Impact and Getting Back on Track,” which include: 1) saving lives; 2) protecting poor and vulnerable people; 3) ensuring sustainable business growth and job creation; and 4) strengthening policies, institutions, and investments for rebuilding better.

    Since April 2020, the Bank has approved several operations and restructured ongoing projects to support the health sector response to save lives, financed social protection measures and cash transfers to protect the poor and vulnerable, as well as initiatives to support food security and livelihoods. The International Finance Corporation (IFC) also provided emergency support to the private sector, for example in the garment sector for production of personal protective equipment for COVID-19 response. In the recovery phase, engagement will focus on strengthening policies, institutions and investments for rebuilding better, with investment operations supporting SMEs and private sector jobs, resilient infrastructure, and digital connectivity.

    WORLD BANK GROUP PROGRAM

    The World Bank's portfolio in Haiti has 20 active projects, with a total commitment amount of over US$834.41 million as of October 2020. This is complemented by US$129 million from trust funds that support the implementation of these projects.

    The International Development Association (IDA), the World Bank’s fund for the poorest countries, allocated US$260 million for Haiti for the period 2020-2022.

    Haiti has received a fast-tracked US$20 million grant to help address the health emergency of the COVID-19 pandemic.  Another US$20 million grant was approved as budget support financing aimed at increasing Haiti’s capacity to mitigate the impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak and enhance resilience to natural hazards and health-related shocks.

    In addition to this new financing, support has been provided to other critical sectors during the pandemic by reprogramming existing resources, including by activating Contingent Emergency Response Components (CERCs). One CERC has allowed funds to be reallocated under an agriculture project to support food security by safeguarding production for upcoming cropping cycles. A second CERC financed emergency cash transfers through the Municipal Development and Urban Resilience Project to ease some of the economic and social challenges for the most vulnerable.

    Work has been done under an ongoing education project to ensure continuity of the school feeding project, despite school closures, and find new methods of remote learning. The ongoing water and sanitation project has ramped up hand washing and hygiene awareness, particularly in high-risk areas like the border crossing, health centers, and marketplaces. More information about the multisectoral response to the COVID-19 crisis is available here. Going forward, the World Bank is also looking at additional initiatives to support the country’s efforts for economic recovery, resilience, and protecting the vulnerable.

    Overall, the urban, resilience and land sector represents the largest segment of the World Bank portfolio in Haiti, with over 24% of the total financing, followed by the transport sector with 23%, and the energy and extractives sector at 12%. Other key areas include the agriculture and food sector, with 11% of total financing, the health, nutrition and population sector with 9%, and the education and water sectors, each with 8%. Remaining resources are earmarked for the finance, governance, macroeconomics, trade and investment, and social protection and jobs sectors.

    In addition to IDA activities, the International Finance Corporation (IFC) supports the private sector in Haiti. As of October 1, 2020, IFC’s portfolio comprised 11 projects with an initial commitment of $154m, of which US$29 million has been mobilized from other partners. IFC supports private sector projects in Haiti in the areas of energy, beverages, garment manufacturing, financial markets, and hospitality.

    While supporting the private sector in mitigating the effect of the Covid-19 pandemic and paving the way for a strong recovery, the IFC program aims to increase financial inclusion, create jobs, and facilitate access to sustainable basic infrastructures by making catalytic investments. It also contributes to the development of a competitive and inclusive economy through technical assistance and advisory programs designed to make the business environment more attractive for investors and for micro, small, and medium enterprises. 

    Last Updated: Oct 20, 2020

  • Some of the key results from the World Bank’s engagement in Haiti over the past four years are detailed below.

    Education

    • Improved access to quality learning through the delivery of education materials to over 55,000 children in 171 public schools in Grande-Anse, Nippes, Sud, Sud-Est for school year 2019-2020 through distribution of textbooks for all grades and subjects;
    • Improved teaching and learning through the provision of trainings to directors and teachers on school management, school manuals and on a scripted reading method for 1st and 2nd year as well as financial and technical support to 171 public schools in Sud, Grande-Anse, Sud-Est, and Nippes to support school improvement plans and schools’ functioning costs in 2019-2020;
    • Improved access to school for vulnerable students through the provision of grants to 20,000 students in 60 community public schools in the Sud, Grand'Anse, Sud-Est, and Nippes departments.
    • Provided results-based grants to 125 non-public schools serving a total of 37,000 students in the departments of Sud, Grand'Anse, and Sud-Est in 2019-2020;
    • Improved nutrition through the provision of 5,100,000 school meals to 170 public and 60 community schools during the 2019-2020 school year. During the school closures caused by the COVID-19 pandemic for the months April-June 2020, 62,000 take-home food rations were provided to 82,000 students in 230 projects supported schools.

    Health

    • Cholera transmission interrupted, with no new laboratory-confirmed cases since January 2019;
    • Installed more than 250 oxygen concentrators to support COVID-19 patient treatment and an additional 500 are planned to be deployed in health facilities before the end of 2020;
    • Delivered more than 3.5 million masks and other personal protective equipment for health workers in the first 3 months of the COVID-19 pandemic;
    • Improved infrastructure in health facilities, and water and sanitation in more than 180 sites;
    • Expanded of vaccination coverage, resulting in 3.5 million children immunized;
    • Increased prenatal care, with at least four visits for 40% of the women living in the Nord-Est, Centre, Nord-Ouest, and Sud departments last year.

    Water and Sanitation

    • To support response to COVID-19, installed more than 2,100 handwashing stations with soap and water at critical points in local communities, including markets, border posts, orphanages, prisons, and healthcare centers, repaired priority water systems, and trucked water to areas without access (together with OREPA and UNICEF);
    • Conducted awareness raising campaign on handwashing and hygiene at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in collaboration with OREPA and UNICEF;
    • Increased access to drinking water for more than 70,000 people in rural areas and small towns with the construction, rehabilitation, and extension of drinking water supply systems;
    • Provided access to improved sanitation facilities for more than 26,000 people through the construction of 50 sanitation blocks in public schools in the South and La Gonave Island, and in public markets in the Centre Region;
    • Initiated a pilot operation for the improvement and protection of priority water springs in Latiboliere, Port Salut, l’Asile, and Bodarie;
    • Technical assistance and capacity building provided to the National Drinking Water and Sanitation Directorate (DINEPA) and the OREPA Sud, Centre, and Nord, especially for unified accounting and monitoring and for the construction and development of a national water and sanitation database;
    • Supported DINEPA to strengthen the ability to plan, program, and budget for the water and sanitation sector.

    Energy

    • Expanded access to electricity for about 233,833 people;
    • Expanded access to electricity with Solar PV systems to about 474 schools, mostly in rural areas;
    • Rehabilitated 4 distribution networks and installed of consumer meters to improve reliability of electricity service in Port-au-Prince;
    • Installed over 1,977 solar streetlamps in priority urban and rural areas;
    • Supported the National Energy Regulation Authority, ANARSE, to improve oversight of the energy sector. 

    Agriculture

    • Supported 12,874 farmers to cope with the economic disruption posed by the COVID-19 pandemic and associated risks to food security. A total of 163 tons of seeds and 1,005 tons of fertilizers have been distributed to cultivate 8,791 hectares of land, and 7,161 hectares of farmland have benefited from land preparation in the southern region;
    • Individual subsidies distributed to around 20,000 farmers on more than 10,000 hectares;
    • Registered around 150,000 farmers in the National Farmers’ Registry of the Ministry of Agriculture/MARNDR;
    • Identified and registered more than 300,000 cattle;
    • Provided or improved irrigation or drainage services for more than 2,000 hectares of land.

    Disaster Risk Management

    • Contributed through dialogue and technical assistance to the adoption (by Presidential decree on June 5, 2020), of the Disaster Risk Management Plan for 2019-2030;
    • Investments made in emergency evacuation shelter infrastructure in the Grand Sud region;
    • Provided technical support to the development of emergency shelter guidelines to integrate COVID-19 considerations;
    • Provided technical support to the Civil Protection’s emergency preparedness and response communications campaign for the 2020 Hurricane season;
    • Investments made in large scale flood risk reduction and incorporating disaster risk analysis in infrastructure planning in Cap-Haitian and surrounding municipalities;
    • Supported the creation and strengthening of the National Hydrometeorological Unit to provide improved hydro-meteorological and climate information and services customized to the needs of the civil protection.

    Transport

    • Enabled better access to the capital for 500,000 Haitians living in the southeast of the country;
    • Rehabilitated 8 kilometers of road connecting the historic city centers of Cap-Haitian and Labadie;
    • Built back better the Ladigue bridge after Hurricane Matthew, reconnecting over 2 million Haitians in the departments of Nippes, Sud, and Grand'Anse;
    • Stabilized the Marigot-Jacmel and Port-Salut-Les Anglais road network;
    • Reconstructed the Chalon, Dolin, Fauché, La Thème and Boucan Carré bridges with resilient methods, and rehabilitated and protected 190 small bridges, culverts, and road sections;
    • Protected and repaired more than 25 major engineering structures.
    • Purchased 18 emergency bridges to improve the emergency response capacity of Haiti;
    • Rehabilited 30 kilometers of the most vulnerable rural roads using a spot improvement approach in the Centre and Artibonite Loop Region.

    Regional Development

    • Improved infrastructure, greater economic opportunities related to the tourism sector and support for the organization of cultural events to benefit nearly 35,000 inhabitants of the Nord region;
    • Historic National Park, which includes the Henri Citadel, the Sans Souci Palace, the Sans Souci Chapel, and the Ramiers buildings to be rehabilitated;s
    • Stabilized the Boucle Center Artibonite (BCA) road network’s strategic routes through rehabilitation and protection works that allow 10,000 more people to have all-weather access to agricultural production areas and markets.

    Urban Development

    • Strengthened service provision in six municipalities in the Cap-Haitian metropolitan area;
    • Improved public spaces and urban infrastructure in seven municipalities in the North;
    • Improved municipal buildings in Quartier Morin and Milot;
    • Increased capacity to manage tourism in the North through support to the Destination Management Organization of the North of Haiti.

    Last Updated: Oct 20, 2020

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LENDING

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

*Amounts include IBRD and IDA commitments


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