February 16, 2022
DEPUTY ADMINISTRATOR COLEMAN: Good afternoon. Thank you, Prime Ministry Henry, for convening this important discussion on Haiti’s recovery and reconstruction needs in the aftermath of last year’s devastating earthquake.
Today’s event reflects the United States’—and the wider donor community’s—shared commitment and enduring ties to Haiti and its people. Haiti is not only a neighbor to the United States but also one of our nation’s oldest friends, a relationship enhanced by the vibrant Haitian-American community.
The United States remains committed to supporting the people of Haiti as the country’s largest humanitarian donor. In the immediate humanitarian response to the August 14th earthquake, USAID served as the lead agency in the U.S. government response to the earthquake, deploying funds of close to $70 million and also providing first responders to address the urgent needs of earthquake-affected populations.
Throughout a 50-day deployment, USAID’s Disaster Assistance Response Team and Response Management Team provided nearly 900,000 pounds of emergency relief supplies, such as medical supplies, hygiene kits, water containers, kitchen sets, shelter repair kits, and blankets, and more than 2,100 metric tons of food for distribution to affected households.
The United States also utilized the unique capabilities of our Department of Defense to support relief efforts. Joint Task Force-Haiti—which included DOD and U.S. Coast Guard assets—flew 671 missions, transporting approximately 200 relief staff and 588,000 pounds of emergency supplies for UN agencies, NGOs and the Government of Haiti, including emergency food and water, hospital equipment, water purification units, shelter kits, cooking supplies and hygiene kits, and other critical supplies throughout the affected areas of Grand’Anse, Nippes, and Sud Departments.
In the aftermath of the earthquake, USAID provided an additional $15 million for earthquake recovery needs. With these funds, we’re working to mitigate disease outbreaks by supporting the repair of water systems in Jeremie and Les Cayes, and catalyzing job creation – particularly in agriculture – to help small businesses get back on their feet. The funding is also being used to establish temporary safe spaces so children affected by the earthquake can return to school.
USAID is also tapping into the energy, resources, and knowledge of the Haitian diaspora and local groups to spur economic and social impact investment in earthquake affected areas, including by creating a funding mechanism to assist these organizations in launching development initiatives in Haiti; hosting events to educate potential diaspora investors about social and economic impact investment; and establishing effective mechanisms for collaboration between diaspora organizations and local grassroots organizations.
This support builds on USAID’s long-standing partnership with Haiti to strengthen response and recovery systems, as well as to increase resilience in the face of recurrent disasters. As Administrator Power highlighted during her August 26 visit to Port Au Prince, our ability to reach communities in need is truly driven by our “ongoing partnership with the Haitian people.” We understand that “local expertise and local leadership” remains crucial, and are keen to “listen to the communities themselves about how they prioritize” as we continue planning and programming around recovery.
Today, we are pleased to announce that USAID will provide an additional $50 million in assistance through a new five-year program designed to build resilience, increase food security, and bolster the nutrition status of Haiti’s most vulnerable people. Ayiti Pi Djanm – “a Stronger Haiti” will reach nearly 90,000 people across Haiti’s South and North East departments with critical support including community-level nutrition training, promotion of climate-smart crops, financial education, food vouchers, and multi-purpose cash assistance to meet the basic needs of families, local vendors, and youth.
We know there’s much more to be done. The Government of Haiti’s Post-Disaster Needs Assessment values reconstruction at approximately $2 billion, of which only 16 percent has already been pledged. We thank our partners who have risen to the call and urge other donor countries to step forward and contribute to meet these urgent needs.
The United States remains committed to supporting the people of Haiti as they strive to build a more stable, resilient, and prosperous country. Thank you again for the opportunity to participate, and we look forward to continuing this productive dialogue.