More than a decade after the January 2010 earthquake, Haiti is still struggling to recover and faces serious development challenges. Since the earthquake, Haiti has experienced several additional calamities, including a cholera epidemic, hurricanes, and drought, which have further weakened the country’s already fragile economic, social, and political institutions.
In July 2010, Congress appropriated $1.2 billion in supplemental funding for Haiti reconstruction. In addition, federal agencies, including the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), have allocated funding from annual appropriations since the earthquake for reconstruction and development activities in Haiti. USAID has been the principal agency responsible for administering funds for these activities.
The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has examined the status of U.S.-funded reconstruction and development efforts in Haiti. The watchdog found that as of September 30, 2020, USAID had obligated 95 percent and disbursed 89 percent of nearly $2.3 billion it had allocated in supplemental and annual appropriations funding for reconstruction and development in Haiti since fiscal year 2010. USAID directed about three-quarters of its total allocated funding to three assistance sectors—health and disabilities, economic and food security, and governance and rule of law. The agency allocated the remaining funding to five other sectors—shelter, energy, education, ports, and transport and technical services—and to operating and other expenses.
GAO’s research found that USAID funded 440 reconstruction and development activities in Haiti across the eight assistance sectors in fiscal years 2010 through 2020. Three sectors—health and disabilities, economic and food security, and governance and rule of law—accounted for most (351) of the activities. Specifically, USAID funded:
- 135 activities in the health and disabilities sector, including activities to improve maternal and child health care and health infrastructure;
- 125 activities in the economic and food security sector, including training for workers and agricultural inputs for farmers; and
- 91 activities in the governance and rule of law sector, including assistance for the national and municipal governments in services delivery.
U.S.-based organizations implemented 269 of the activities, Haiti-based organizations implemented 117 activities, and multilateral organizations and organizations based elsewhere than the U.S. or Haiti implemented 54 activities.
In a forthcoming report, GAO will examine the status of selected U.S. reconstruction and development activities in Haiti and the extent to which they have achieved their intended goals.