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Updated by Jaime Arevalo on 21.04.2017

After being hardly hit in 2008 by the hurricane season, Haiti was hit by a magnitude 7.0 earthquake on January 12th 2010. In less than a minute all the historic imbalances of the Haitian society were once more dramatically exposed. For many Haitians life was already a disaster before the disaster.

  • 80 percent of the population lived already under the poverty line and 54 percent under extreme poverty.
  • 42 percent of households have a woman as chief of household and two thirds live under extreme poverty. 
  • 24 percent of children under 5 years of age are undernourished
  • 80 percent of health and education services are private leaving the vast majority of the population with no real access to health and education.

The PDNA (Post Crisis Damage and Needs Assessment) exercise conducted by the international community and the local authorities made evident that in the case of Haiti a reconstruction exercise would be worthless. What is needed urgently is a re-foundation and a fresh new start. The basis for such re-foundation and for a fresh new start is reflected in the Government's Plan of Action for Development that includes four tiers: economic re-foundation, social re-foundation, Institutional re-foundation and territorial re-foundation.

As regards the social re-foundation the Plan of Action considers a new "Social Pact" which through a set of coherent and mutually supportive policies and strategies enhances men's and women's chances for development and at the same time reduce their vulnerability face to natural risks and economic crisis.

For the first time in a PDNA exercise the concept of Social Protection Floor (SPF) was introduced as a key element of a post recovery effort and retained in the Government's Plan of Action as well as in the project proposals submitted to the donors' community.

The SPF initiative in Haiti is lead by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment in collaboration mainly with the ministries of health and education.

Collection of documents on Haiti and the earthquake

As part of the reconstruction efforts following the Haiti earthquake of January 12th 2010, the various UN agencies, NGOs and government institutions involved have been sharing their publications and working documents on Haiti on the humanitarian crisis in order to enhance their technical inputs through improved communication and information exchange among them. This collection of over 200 resources is now available on GESS to all users and participating institutions.

Click here to see the collection of documents