Haiti is vulnerable to climate change and is marked by natural disasters, but it is also a young country. The country needs to address several challenges in order to stem the massive emigration and fight against the feeling of exclusion among its youth: education, rural development, health and urban development. These are the fields in which AFD supports the country.
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Haïti,city, street, girls
AFD and Haiti: Banking on youth and reducing inequalities
Haïti,city, street, girls

Supporting the education sector

Haiti Students at Bonsauveur Cange secondary school

Supporting the education sector

In Haiti, 34% of the population is under 15. Youth is probably the country’s greatest asset, but it is also its greatest challenge. While school enrolment figures are increasing, teaching quality remains poor.

The Ministry of Education has launched “Heading for Quality”, a program to improve teacher training – a key component of the education system – and adapt curricula to the needs of society. AFD is supporting the education system reform, with the aim of improving teaching quality in secondary and high schools

Vocational training is not effective enough: it does not match real needs and does not allow the integration of young graduates. Employers also do not find the skills they are seeking on the labor market. One of the main challenges for the country’s economic development is to match supply and demand. AFD has partnered with the National Institute of Vocational Training to address the challenge of youth employment and give Haiti’s economy the right skills for the needs of both small and large companies.

Our support mainly focuses on three areas: training in water activities, upgrading construction, electrical engineering and automotive mechanics sectors, and modernizing the National Institute of Vocational Training.

Supporting rural development

Haiti Field in Haiti agriculture

Supporting rural development

The agricultural sector accounts for almost a quarter of national GDP. 60% of the working population is employed in agriculture. Despite strong potential, the sector faces obstacles to its development: complex water management, fragmentation of land, land insecurity, difficulties to access the market, a strong commercial openness which favors low-cost imports. These obstacles are exacerbated by population growth and climate change, to which Haiti is particularly vulnerable. The result: production has difficulty meeting domestic demand. Almost 50% of the supply of cereals is dependent on imports. It is therefore essential to strengthen food security

Building on longstanding experience in rural development, AFD contributes to increasing agricultural production and reducing poverty in rural areas. Through the SECAL project, we are improving incomes for some 800 smallholder producers of corn, beans and plantains. We are also supporting agroforestry activities with high potential, such as coffee, cocoa and vetiver.

Improving healthcare access and quality

Child hospitalized in the Thomonde health center in Haiti

Improving healthcare access and quality

Despite significant progress in the fight against AIDS, Haiti’s health indicators remain the lowest in Latin America. Life expectancy stands at 61 for men and 64 for women. The child mortality rate stands at 59 per 1,000 births.

We are strengthening the country’s health system with:

  • The reconstruction of the State University of Haiti Hospital, bringing buildings up to standard, over 50% of which were destroyed by the earthquake in 2010, and training for medical staff to increase the quality of care;
  • The Timama project to improve maternal and child health, as well as nutrition and the management of gender-related violence. This project is financed by AFD and has been implemented by French and Haitian NGOs since August 2016 in the Grande-Anse, South and Northwest Departments.

Sustainably transforming cities

Haiti Redevelopment works in the Martissant neighborhood

Sustainably transforming cities

Over 50% of Haiti’s population lives in cities. In the Port-au-Prince region, 80% of the urban area is covered by precarious neighborhoods, which are poorly served, with no access to water and essential services. 

AFD’s action involves fighting against all forms of exclusion in cities and increasing their resilience to shocks and adverse weather conditions.

We are financing various projects to:

  • Redevelop neighborhoods which were badly affected by the earthquake in 2010. The project started with the preparation of a development plan designed with residents: a first in this field. On the program: roads to open up neighborhoods, upgrading housing to anti-earthquake standards and support on regulations for local institutions from the urban sector;
  • Manage waster in Cap-Haïtien, and improve the structure of the chain, from collection to treatment. The objective: improve public health and optimize the region’s tourism capital;
  • Rehabilitate the Hinche-Saint Raphaël road, and improve connections between Port-au-Prince and Cap-Haïtien, an essential route for the island’s development. 
years of partnership between AFD and Haiti
EUR 400
million committed
projects financed

In the Greater Antilles, Haiti shares the island of Hispaniola with the Dominican Republic. Haiti is on the path of cyclones and at the intersection of tectonic plates: it is particularly exposed to natural disasters, as shown by the earthquake in 2010 and, more recently, Hurricane Matthew in 2016.

It is not only one of the most vulnerable countries to climate change, but also the poorest in Latin America. The State struggles to provide basic services (education, health, infrastructure) to its population. This situation hinders Haiti’s youth – who also come up against difficulties of access to employment – and leads to massive emigration.

It is precisely this youth, which is both an asset and a challenge, that the country is banking on for the future.

AFD, a partner of Haiti for 40 years, provides grant financing for projects designed and implemented by the State in the following fields: education and vocational training, health, urban development, the environment and rural development. Our action stands out for the support we provide to local administrations to strengthen their governance, as well as the strong support to NGO initiatives, and the private sector via PROPARCO, or the ARIZ risk-sharing mechanism.

Since 1976, AFD has supported 110 projects in Haiti, including 40 projets led by civil society organizations.

AFD's Haiti office is directly attached to the Atlantic Ocean regional office in Fort-de-France.

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