Haiti

Norway has provided more than NOK 800 million in support to Haiti after the earthquake that struck the country five years ago.

Facts about Haiti

Population
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Millions
Life expectancy
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Years
GNI pr capita
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USD
Percentage poor people (below 1.25$)
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%
HDI
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Ranking
Source:

Bilateral assistance million kroner

Bilateral assistance million kroner

Bilateral assistance million kroner

On 12 January 2010 Haiti was struck by a devastating earthquake.

Over 220.000 people lost their lives, more than 300.000 were injured and over 1.5 million people lost their homes. For decades Haiti has been one of the poorest countries on the American continent, and after the earthquake the situation was both complex and chaotic.

Since the earthquake Norway has provided more than NOK 800 million in support, with a contribution amounting to almost NOK 90 million in 2014. Norway has also supported the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) since 2010.

Haiti is the poorest country in the western hemisphere and over eighty per cent of the population subsist on less than two dollars a day. In rural areas less than five per cent have access to electricity.

Scope and organization of Norway’s involvement in Haiti

The evaluation of Norwegian support after the earthquake in Haiti was published in 2014. The most important findings and conclusions are given below.

Dispersed Norwegian support

During the three years from 2010 to 2012, Norway provided more than NOK 800 million in support to Haiti. Approximately a quarter of this was spent on meeting urgent humanitarian needs. The remainder was devoted to long-term reconstruction and development, and included an emphasis on reducing the vulnerability of the population to future natural catastrophes.

The money was disbursed across different thematic areas and different kinds of support. In total Norway supported 81 programmes such as health initiatives, provisional soup kitchens, electrification, tree planting and democratization.

A large share of Norwegian funding was initially given via the multi-donor trust fund Haiti Reconstruction Fund  (HRF), a collaboration between the Haitian authorities and the international community, administered by the World Bank.

Moreover, Norwegian support was distributed among various organizations – the UN, the World Bank, the multi-donor trust fund and regional authorities.

Uncertain effects

According to the evaluation team, it has not been possible to reach a conclusion on the overall effects of the Norwegian support. One of the reasons is that the short term effects are inadequately documented, including for humanitarian aid. There is a considerable amount of documentation on the immediate results (outputs) of the support but little information about the effects this has had on the poor.

The largest share of the funding has targeted reconstruction and equipping people to cope better with future catastrophes. Since these are long-term effects, it is too early to reach definite conclusions.

According to the report, an important reason for the uncertainty is that Norway had no overall support strategy based on a detailed policy analysis of the Haitian situation. Alternative ways of supporting Haiti and a risk analysis of the methods chosen were also lacking.

Made some positive choices

The earthquake caused major damage to the capital Port-au-Prince, and thus also affected large parts of government administration. International donors were faced with a very demanding and chaotic situation.

Norway’s speedy decision to take a long-term view of how to give support is praised in the report. Often the problem is that when the short-term, acute phase of a humanitarian crisis has passed, all donors withdraw.

At an early stage, Norway chose to concentrate its support in Départementet du Sud, a geographical area in the south of Haiti, a decision which the evaluation report praises. Many international donors operated in the capital, and donors were also needed to support projects outside the capital.

In this geographical area Norway had a strong focus on providing funding for the environment and sustainable energy as well as health.

Findings

According to the evaluation team, Norway is considered to be a flexible donor and able to take decisions swiftly. The team regards this as an important strength for Norway as a donor country, and also recommends that Norway finds better ways of combining flexibility with improved structure and strategy.

In addition, the evaluation team has assessed whether Norwegian efforts have led to tangible improvements for the poor of Haiti. The report criticizes Norway for the failure of many projects to target this group directly.

Health

Norway has supported the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (the Global Fund) since its inception, and in 2014−2016 is providing funding of NOK 1,7 billion. The Global Fund has supported Haiti since 2001. Total funding amounts to USD 295 million (71 per cent for AIDS, 12 per cent for tuberculosis and 17 per cent for malaria).

Results:

  • 60.000 are undergoing active ARV treatment
  • 48.400 cases of tuberculosis have been diagnosed and treated
  • 3.400.000 cases of malaria have been treated

The results are updated twice a year.

Norway also supports the work of the Cuban Medical Brigade in Haiti. Cuba has provided medical assistance to Haiti since 1998, and the Cuban doctors give effective help, particularly in combating cholera. The most important target group consists of poor Haitians in rural areas.

Read more about development cooperation through

NGOs

Norad supports some Norwegian NGOs with local partners in Haiti. In 2015 funding amounted to NOK 6,6 million. The support targets education, women and children’s rights, democracy development, health/HIV/AIDS and also natural resource management and the climate/environment.

The Norwegian actors are Norwegian Church Aid, the foundation Project Haiti and the umbrella organization Digni.

Published 28.08.2014
Last updated 02.10.2015