A group walking near a stream in haiti after hurricane matthew

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.

The context

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.

Our team

Mercy corps team member with a man and woman in 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 community members have a voice in decision-making.

Our impact

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.
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