Haiti is the poorest country in the Americas. With a population of 10.4 million, the country ranks 168 out of 187 on the United Nations Development Programme’s 2014 Human Development Index and has an unemployment rate of 40 percent. Historically, Haiti has been vulnerable to natural disasters, political instability and economic fluctuations.

Development efforts in Haiti experienced a setback in January 2010 when a powerful earthquake hit the capital, Port-au-Prince, and neighbouring regions, killing 230,000 people and severely disrupting basic services and economic activity. The Government of Canada has delivered more than $1.6 billion in development and humanitarian assistance to Haiti since 2006, including $1 billion since the 2010 earthquake. Haiti is, in fact, Canada’s largest aid beneficiary in the Americas.

Haiti has started its transition out of recovery, and has renewed its focus on long-term development. In 2012, the Government of Haiti launched its long-term strategic development plan (Plan stratégique de développement d'Haïti : Vision 2030) as well as a framework to coordinate development assistance.

In June 2015, Canada announced its own long-term engagement strategy in Haiti. The renewed 2015–2020 strategy follows a strategic review, which sought to examine the progress made to date and maximize efforts and resources. This latest announcement also builds on Canada’s 2014 decision to confirm Haiti as a country of focus.

Find out what Canada is doing to support development in Haiti.

Thematic focus

Canada’s priorities for 2015–2020 are economic growth and prosperity, democratic and accountable government, the rule of law and security, and the health and welfare of Haitian women and youth.

Economic growth and prosperity

Sustainable economic growth will be at the centre of Canada’s efforts to support the emergence of a more resilient Haitian economy. Canada will support the emergence of a more resilient economy with sustained prosperity and growth through the engagement of the private sector and the promotion of innovative financing mechanisms. Programming will be aimed at:

  • improving access to credit and other financial services;
  • supporting improvements in the business climate and land titling;
  • supporting the development of key industries (e.g. agriculture, mining, tourism and manufacturing); and
  • strengthening the capacity, independence and accountability of economic entities, including municipalities.

Democratic and accountable government

The renewed strategy will support democratic development and the fight against corruption, and will contribute to improving the capacity of the state. Actions will include:

  • supporting electoral processes;
  • accelerating public-service reforms to increase productivity and competency (e.g. the collection of taxes and customs);
  • investing in civil society, with attention to women’s political participation, youth engagement and anti-corruption activities; and
  • improving the capacity and transparency of the Haitian government to enable economic growth and supervise the delivery of basic services, especially in health and education.

Rule of law and security

Canada’s engagement will continue to:

  • strengthen the Haitian National Police;
  • strengthen the capacity and independence of the judicial and correctional systems while targeting faster prosecutions;
  • support regional security programs; and
  • seek to reinforce stability.

Programming will also contribute to the accelerated modernization of civil and criminal law and legislative measures (e.g. taxation, commercial code) that can help support economic growth.

Supporting health and welfare of Haitian women and youth

Canada will continue to play a leadership role to:

  • improve the health and rights of women and children;
  • support initiatives in child protection with direct and immediate results on child trafficking; and
  • continue to increase the access to and completion of basic education, with a focus on girls.

Progress on aid effectiveness

Canada continues to work closely with the Government of Haiti and other donors to ensure that its programs are aligned with Haiti's priorities and harmonized with the efforts of other donors. Canada is seeking a greater leadership role in the area of aid coordination to support necessary structural change and sustainable results.

Canada is seeking to sign a mutual accountability framework with the Haitian government reaffirming transparent, efficient and long-term cooperation between our two countries. The framework will establish mutual expectations, stress the importance of Canadian principles and values, establish greater transparency, predictability, and accountability in how investments are spent, and set clear targets for the results Canada and Haiti want to achieve.



Since the earthquake in Haiti seven years ago, Canada has continued to support the country's development and contribute to the improvement of the living conditions of the Haitian people. Progress in the past two years includes:


  • Between 2010 and 2015, more than 70,000 people have been relocated following the earthquakes. Since 2015, Canada has helped close 14 camps and relocate 10,000 displaced people. Canada will contribute relocating the remaining people who still live in camps (a total of more than 1.5 million people were originally displaced).

Sustainable economic growth

  • In addition to the 27,700 agro-entrepreneurs who benefited from access to credit between 2011 and 2015, nearly 7,000 since 2015 have benefited from access to credit. More than 12,049 borrowers are active in partner financial institutions of which 26% are women;
  • Since 2010,  more then 3000 students had access to the various training programs of the Center for Vocational Training in Haiti (CFPH-CANADO). In 2015-16 students’ success rate was above 80%.

Health & Wellness for Women and Children

  • Canada has significantly reduced the incidence of cholera in the country through rapid health care responses to infected people and improved infrastructure for water, sanitation and hygiene;
  • Canada's post-Hurricane Matthew response helped contain possible outbreaks of cholera in the areas most affected by the hurricane and helped prevent the spread of the disease;
  • Canada has completed the rehabilitation of 6 health clinics and the construction of a health center and a waiting house for pregnant women;
  • Canada has helped raise awareness among more than 80,000 people, including more than 25,000 men, about women's rights to maternal health;
  • Canada has provided daily meals to more than 300,000 primary education students per year in Haiti;
  • Canada has developed and implemented a school loan program in collaboration with more than 360 schools to provide more than 18,300 primary school children with the opportunity to attend school.


  •  Support for the electoral process:
    • Canada has contributed to the democratic process in Haiti by supporting the organization and monitoring of the 2015 and 2016 presidential, parliamentary and municipal elections.
  • Canada has continued its efforts to strengthen the Haitian government's capacity to manage effectively and transparently the Haitian civil service and improve its performance in delivering services to citizens. Its efforts have contributed to strengthening the government's capacity to manage the public service as a whole, including through:
    • the establishment of a job classification system;
    • training of managers;
    • development and adoption of a national strategy and action plan for gender equality and;
    • improving systems for mobilizing government tax revenues;
Post-earthquake (2010–2015), including stories from the field

More than five years after the earthquake in Haiti, progress continues to be made. Canadian initiatives have helped improve living conditions of the Haitian people:

  • 23,500 families (more than 70,000 people) displaced by the 2010 earthquake have been resettled in better housing.
  • 150 Haitian National Police managerial staff members have been trained (since 2013).
  • 212,000 children under the age of 5 and 72,000 pregnant women have had access to free health care since 2012.
  • More than one million girls and boys have had access to basic education since 2010.
  • More than 440,000 Haitians receive financial services (including access to credit) as members of a network of 47 credit unions, stimulating the small and medium-sized enterprises sector.
  • More than 27,700 Haitian agri-entrepreneurs received $28 million in agricultural credits from 2011 to 2015, the effect of which was to stimulate agricultural production in Haiti.
  • Six police stations have been rebuilt since 2010.
  • Emergency food assistance was provided to 4.3 million Haitians.
  • Safe drinking water was provided to 1.7 million people.
  • More than 300,000 families were provided with emergency shelter materials.
  • More than 700,000 children received education and protection.
  • Medical care services were provided to 90 percent of displaced individuals in Port-au-Prince.
  • 1.9 million children and youth received vaccinations.

Stories from the field:


Children and youth, including the health and rights of women and children

  • Helped approximately 200,000 children, half of whom are girls, attend school.
  • Provided better access to free obstetric care offered by qualified healthcare workers to 46,000 pregnant women as well as free healthcare to 152,000 children under age 5.

Economic growth

  • Provided better access to agricultural financing to more than 5,700 Haitian agri-entrepreneurs from 19 localities that benefited from $8.9 million in credit for agriculture.
  • Helped 993 Haitians acquire the skills they need to find a job, as they received technical and professional training in areas sought after by the labour market.


  • Reinforced the Haitian National Police by training 41 future commissioners who graduated in 2013-14. A new cohort of 36 commissioners also graduated in June 2014. The RCMP also sent 85 police officers in support of the Haitian National Police.
  • Reinforced the justice system in Kenscoff with the construction of a courthouse and city hall.
  • Contributed to improving the management of the Haitian civil service through technical and material support and career coaching, which took place in 10 ministries, five governmental institutions and five municipalities.
  • Contributed to strengthening the Haitian Tax and Customs Administration’s ability to collect tax revenue, thus increasing revenue from 10 percent of gross domestic product in 2010 to 12.3 percent in 2013.

Children and youth, including the health and rights of women and children

  • Helped more than 275,000 children (more than half of whom are girls) attend school.
  • Increased access to free obstetric care provided by skilled health workers for 26,000 pregnant women, as well as access to free health care for 60,000 children under age 5.

Economic growth

  • Improved financial services for more than 440,000 members of a savings and credit cooperative network, enabling them to better manage their finances and take advantage of economic opportunities. This represents an increase of 27,000 members over 2012–2013
  • Helped more than 500 young Haitians access professional training in domains with high market demand.


  • Reinforced the administration of five municipalities (Port-au-Prince, Léogâne, Gressier, Petit-Goâve and Grand-Goâve) through 140 technical assistance missions in local governance (financial management, administration, land planning) provided by municipal experts from multiple municipalities in Canada.
  • Contributed to better public management for the Government of Haiti by helping more than 40 officials enroll in a master’s program in Public Administration.

Humanitarian assistance

  • Improved access to health services, safe drinking water and sanitation facilities as well as health and hygiene awareness for more than 67,000 disaster-affected people in Cité Soleil and Léogâne.
  • Distributed more than 3,500 water filters and hygiene kits and rehabilitated and constructed 60 sanitation facilities, 12 oral rehydration posts and one cholera treatment centre.

Children and youth, including the health and rights of women and children

  • Helped 35,000 children (half of whom are girls) attend school.
  • Increased access to free obstetric care provided by skilled health workers for about 330,000 pregnant women
  • Helped cure 60 percent of Haiti's 33,000 tuberculosis patients and helped detect 5,200 new cases, with the support of UN agencies.

Food security

  • Helped farmers in three areas increase agricultural production by about 25 percent, ensuring that they had more food with which to feed their families.
  • Provided training, tools, seeds and livestock to 13,800 families (about 69,000 people) to help them produce their own food and improve their nutrition.

Economic growth

  • Improved financial services for more than 417,000 members of a savings and credit cooperative network, enabling them to better manage their finances and take advantage of economic opportunities.


  • Helped register another 200,000 citizens in the civil registry, providing them with legal status that enables them to access basic services, apply for credit, obtain property titles and vote (this project has now reached more than five million people since 2008—90 percent of the adult population).

Humanitarian assistance

  • Provided essential primary health-care services to 80,000 women, men and children living in the Lower Delmas area of Port-au-Prince.
  • Through support to the International Organization for Migration, helped relocate 3,174 families to camps with better conditions, moved 4,884 families out of the camps and into better housing, and prevented 8,820 individuals in camps from being evicted (For before and after photos, see the United Nations Development Programme website or a collection from International Organization for Migration.
  • Helped make 40 camps for earthquake survivors safer for women by installing new solar-powered lights near showers, latrines and water-distribution centres, through support to the United Nations Population Fund.

As of March 2012, Canada had fulfilled its $400-million commitment to reconstruction and recovery but continues to help Haiti in its long-term development efforts.


Children and youth, including the health and rights of women and children

  • Increased access for girls and boys to quality teaching.
  • Registered 24,000 children in displaced persons camps in the civil registry, providing them with identification and access to basic services.
  • Increased immunization coverage rates for measles and rubella, from 44 percent in 2006 to 66 percent in 2011, and for polio, from 61 percent in 2008 to 78 percent in 2011.

Food security

  • Provided 400,000 girls and boys with a hot meal every day of the school year, enabling them to improve their learning.

Economic growth

  • Helped increase membership in the savings and credit cooperatives network, which includes 47 cooperatives and 24 points of service, by 20.6 percent (total number of members: 369,000) and helped provide stable, permanent employment in rural regions through the network.
  • Helped revitalize the national agricultural sector, enabling 400,000 people to increase their income and food security.
  • Contributed to the priorities of the Interim Haiti Recovery Commission, including housing and debris management.


  • Helped register 4.8 million people in the civil registry since 2008—about 85 percent of the adult population—enabling them to have access to basic services, apply for credit, obtain title to property, and vote.
  • Participated in the Interim Haiti Recovery Commission and the Haiti Reconstruction Fund to ensure that the rebuilding process is being managed effectively, transparently and responsibly.

Humanitarian assistance

  • Continued to respond to the ongoing and urgent needs of those still suffering the effects of the devastating earthquake and the widespread cholera epidemic of 2010.
  • Constructed 3,200 transitional shelter units in Port-au-Prince, Léogane and Jacmel.
  • Provided clean drinking water, latrines, and cleaning facilities to 75,000 people.
  • Vaccinated 60,000 children against common diseases.
  • Enabled 85 percent of the affected population to have access to cholera treatment.

Related links


Video: Maternal and infant health in Artibonite (French only)

Map of international development projects in the Americas

Map of international development projects in the Americas

2014-2015 international assistance disbursements to Haiti (in millions of dollars)

Global Affairs Canada61.81
Other departments and sources19.06