Following the tragic January 12, 2010, earthquake, the U.S. Government (USG) has committed over $3.1 billion toward relief, recovery and reconstruction, of which $2.2 billion has been disbursed as of December 31, 2011.
Relief Assistance: The USG committed $1.3 billion in humanitarian relief assistance (rapid, life-saving emergency assistance). This support includes funding provided to fight the October 2010 cholera outbreak. USG relief assistance supported the deployment of search-and-rescue teams, provided emergency food assistance and safe drinking water, installed latrines and water systems, provided emergency shelter, re-established medical supply chains and restocked medical supply inventories, and helped to treat and prevent cholera.
Recovery and Reconstruction Assistance: The USG has also committed $1.8 billion in recovery and reconstruction assistance to support recovery and to begin long-term reconstruction activities in key development pillars identified in the five-year USG Haiti strategy. The USG implemented recovery activities in order to bridge the gap from emergency assistance to reconstruction, including implementation of cash for work rubble removal, and shelter solution activities; construction of temporary infrastructure to house the Parliament and semi-permanent classrooms to allow students to return to school; support and technical assistance for the Interim Haiti Recovery Commission; and funding for Haitian debt relief. Reconstruction activities require in-depth exchanges with new partners and Government of Haiti (GOH) officials to design and implement projects, toward a more stable and economically viable Haiti. Reconstruction assistance supports new post-earthquake initiatives, as well as projects that began prior to the earthquake and continue to support Haiti’s economic recovery. To promote sustainable, long-term development, the USG has initiated site work to prepare for permanent houses in Haiti’s north, reconstructed the Ennery Bridge, initiated energy activities for the new Caracol Industrial Park, encouraged public-private partnerships to raise revenues for farmers, pioneered mobile banking, supported food security activities to increase crop yields, provided a basic health package to beneficiaries , increased physical access for disabled students and teachers, and supported first- and second- round presidential elections.
How the USG Provides Assistance
The majority of USG funds in the first year following the earthquake were used to respond quickly to emergencies and humanitarian crises. Funding to respond to crises worldwide is pre-contracted or provided to traditional partners to respond quickly to save lives.
Since the earthquake, the USG has worked directly or through sub-awards in which USAID has worked with over 500 Haitian non-governmental organizations and firms, and continues to award contracts to local organizations. Moving forward, the USG is increasing local contracting as reconstruction programs continue to be designed and awarded. USG programs will work specifically to build the capacity of Haitian organizations to receive direct funding for implementing USG projects and will provide technical assistance directly to the GOH, local governments and Haiti’s parliament to build government capacity.
The USG is also funding new and innovative projects and encouraging Haitian entrepreneurship through USAID’s new Development Innovation Ventures (DIV) program and a new LEAD program, which facilitates investments. USAID’s DIV program offers funding to new projects that have potential to address Haiti’s significant challenges and substantively improve development outcomes. The DIV Haiti initiative will invest in innovations tailored to the Haitian context, measure their impact and scale up those that are successful. The LEAD program partners with Haitian businesses and U.S.-based investors to increase the development impact of remittances.