Following the destructive January 12, 2010, earthquake, the U.S. Government committed over $3.6 billion toward relief, recovery, and reconstruction, of which $2.6 billion has been disbursed as of March 31, 2013.
Relief Assistance: The U.S. Government committed $1.3 billion in humanitarian relief assistance (rapid, life-saving emergency assistance). This 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. It also provided funding to help address the October 2010 cholera outbreak through treatment and prevention programs.
Reconstruction and Development Assistance: The U.S. Government committed an additional $2.3 billion in reconstruction and development assistance to support recovery and long-term reconstruction activities. Funding supports activities in four development pillars identified in the five-year U.S. Government Haiti strategy – (1) Infrastructure and Energy, (2) Food and Economic Security, (3) Health and Other Basic Services, and (4) Governance and Rule of Law. Some of these activities marked the transition from emergency assistance to longer-term reconstruction, including rubble removal and shortand long-term housing solutions; construction of semi-permanent classrooms to allow over 60,000 students to return to school; support and technical assistance for the Interim Haiti Recovery Commission; and funding for Haitian debt relief. Activities are coordinated with the Government of Haiti and local stakeholders to help ensure sustainability and a longterm positive impact on Haiti’s reconstruction and economic development. Highlights of key U.S. Government reconstruction activities include: construction of permanent houses in Haiti’s north and near Port-au-Prince, reconstruction of the Ennery Bridge, construction of a 10 megawatt electricity plant in the Caracol Industrial Park, support to help raise revenues for local farmers, pioneering mobile banking efforts, supporting food security activities to increase crop yields, providing a basic health package to over 50 percent of Haitians, increasing physical access for disabled students and teachers, and supporting first- and second- round presidential elections in 2011.
Empowering Haitian-Owned Organizations: Since the earthquake, the U.S. Government, through USAID, has worked directly or through sub-awards with over 400 Haitian non-governmental organizations and firms as well as hundreds of local vendors. Moving forward, our goal is to increase local contracting as reconstruction programs continue to be designed and awarded. The U.S. Government will work specifically to build the capacity of Haitian organizations to receive direct funding for implementing U.S. Government projects and will provide technical assistance directly to the Government of Haiti, local governments, and the Haitian Parliament to build government capacity— essential components for local ownership and sustainability.
The U.S. Government is also funding new and innovative projects and encouraging Haitian entrepreneurship through USAID’s Development Innovation Ventures (DIV) and Leveraging Effective Application of Direct Investments (LEAD) programs. USAID’s DIV program offers funding for innovative proposals that demonstrate high prospects for success. The DIV Haiti initiative emphasizes innovations tailored to the Haitian context. Simultaneously, the LEAD program is partnering with Haitian businesses and U.S.-based investors to increase the development impact of remittance flows into the Haitian economy. This program, launched in 2011, has awarded four grants to Haitian organizations as part of its business plan competition’s first round; and a second round of the competition was launched this spring. For more information on funding, go to http://www.usaid.gov/faq-usaid-funding-haiti.