Since arriving in January 2010 after a 7.0 magnitude earthquake struck Haiti, we have been able to provide relief to thousands of Haitians in the wake of natural disasters, poverty and more. In 2017, we reached over 195,300 people.
Haiti has a population of 10.9 million people across 10,714 square miles. Out of the total population, 2.8 million people are in need of immediate humanitarian assistance, including 1.3 million people who are suffering from severe food insecurity.
Since gaining independence from France on the first day of 1804, Haiti has had a tumultuous political history which includes an occupation by the U.S. from 1915 to 1934 and a period of military rule from 1991 to 1994.
Haiti is the poorest country in the Americas. More than half of the population is living in extreme poverty — which means living on less than $1.23 per day — and are deprived of basic human needs as a result.
Natural disasters, such as Hurricane Matthew in 2016 and the 2010 earthquake, impact Haiti more frequently and severely than almost every other country. In 2017, it was reported that Haiti ranked second out of 187 countries who were impacted by extreme weather and climate-related stressors. Over 90 percent of Haitians are vulnerable to the impacts of natural disasters.
The increasingly severe impacts of climate change, especially those in the form of extreme weather events like hurricanes and droughts, are affecting Haiti more and more each year.
In spite of these challenges, the people of Haiti are hopeful that a brighter future is coming. By providing lifesaving disaster relief, empowering women and young people, providing economic opportunity and more, we are helping build a stronger, more stable tomorrow for all of Haiti.
The Haiti field team is made up of about 50 members and is led by Country Director Jessica Pearl. Out of all of our field team members, most are native to Haiti and have a unique and personal understanding of the issues facing their country and individual communities.
Our work covers a wide range of issues facing the people of Haiti including natural disasters, poverty, lack of access to economic opportunity, violence, and food insecurity. Our long term strategy in Haiti is to strengthen local market systems, build individual capacity, and bring the two together so that farmers, young people, business owners, and women can work together to realize their potential, withstand crises, and create new opportunities in Haiti.
We are supporting local organizations and associations to improve their systems so they can provide important services to their communities and help ensure that communities members have a voice in decision-making.
Since 2010, our work in Haiti has reached hundreds of thousands of people. Here are a few of our results:
- In 2017, about 1,800 youth and parents completed a life skills curriculum to help them transition from school into adulthood and the workforce. More than half the people who benefited were women.
- We helped nearly 90,000 people in Haiti recover from Hurricane Matthew.
- After the January 2010 earthquake, we provided 1 million people with emergency food, clean water and shelter materials, as well as post-disaster assistance.
- More than 4,000 Haitian households are more resilient to climate change and economic shocks as a result of our work in 2017.
How to help
Haiti: One year after Hurricane Matthew, seeds of hope return
One year after Hurricane Matthew devastated the island nation, the people of Haiti are rebuilding their livelihoods.
Haiti: Our response to Hurricane Matthew
We are working to help meet urgent needs and lay the groundwork for recovery after Hurricane Matthew in Haiti. Learn about our response.
Haiti: From the field: How we're reaching hard-hit families after Hurricane Matthew
Our team is on the ground rushing emergency supplies to hurricane survivors in the hard-hit southern peninsula. Despite extensive damage to roads and bridges, learn how we're getting to those who need our help the most.
Haiti: Update: Preparing to meet emergency needs after Hurricane Matthew
As the impact of the hurricane becomes clearer, our team is preparing a response to help meet urgent needs and lay the groundwork for recovery.
Haiti: Update: On the ground assessing Hurricane Matthew damage
Out teams in Haiti are out in communities today working to better understand the extent of damage and needs following Hurricane Matthew. Read our latest statement.
Haiti: Update: Preparing to respond as Hurricane Matthew makes landfall
As Hurricane Matthew makes landfall in Haiti, Mercy Corps is preparing to respond to the urgent needs of people in the hardest-hit areas. Read our latest statement.
Haiti: 5 years after quake: Journey from relief to recovery
Our Country Director reflects on the challenges Haitian communities have overcome since 2010 and what the future holds.
Haiti: Rebuilding mountains one garden at a time
Rapid deforestation has nearly destroyed Haiti's natural resources. How farmers are repairing the land — and earning higher incomes.
Haiti: Growing businesses in Haiti's toughest neighborhoods
Florye's almost lost her small upholstery business in the Haiti earthquake. Today, she and other entrepreneurs are revitalizing the local economy.
Haiti: Women entrepreneurs creating new opportunities
In Port-au-Prince, still recovering from the 2010 earthquake, financial stability is elusive. But tenacious women like Bilha believe in a better future.