Periods of political instability and prevalence of natural disasters has led to high rates of poverty and unemployment, with 60% of the population living under the national poverty line, Haiti’s GDP growth to 5.5% in 2011 as the Haitian economy began recovering from the devastating January earthquake that destroyed much of its Capital City, Port-au-Prince, but has since risen to 2.6 billion as of December 2017. Much of the country’s infrastructure is damaged, and the government’s capacity to carry out service provision is limited. One in four people in Haiti live in extreme poverty. Inequality is also high, with the French-speaking minority dominating public and private sector leadership and the Creole-speaking majority lacking employment opportunities. Poor access to clean water, housing, and social protection are obstacles to socioeconomic development. As off 2017, there are 37,667 people still live in IDP camps, and while this represents a significant decrease since 2010, it is a population that remains at high risk of food insecurity, disease, and unemployment.
The international humanitarian response following the 2010 earthquake overwhelmed the country’s government and already weakened infrastructure, but development partners have since made efforts to improve coordination and leverage resources. In addition to the earthquake’s devastating effects on infrastructure, it had similar effects on human capital; an estimated 18,000 civil servants died in the disaster. Haiti’s 2010-2030 Strategic Development Plan calls for a series of three-year frameworks setting priorities for development, including building human capital. The 2014-2016 framework focuses on (1) education and human and social development; (2) environment and regional development, (3) economy and employment, (4) energy, and (5) rule of law and democracy.