Fast Facts

Haiti is still struggling to recover from the massive 2010 earthquake that claimed more than 200,000 lives and caused $7.8 billion in damage. A cholera epidemic, hurricanes, and other subsequent disasters have stalled progress and economic growth.

Since the earthquake, the U.S. Agency for International Development has allocated about $2.3 billion to help with reconstruction and development in Haiti. Most of USAID's funding has focused on improving health outcomes, economic and food security, and governance and rule of law. U.S.-based organizations carried out over half of the USAID-funded reconstruction and development activities in Haiti.

Health Facility in Haiti Supported by USAID

Medical staff and patients in a clinic in Haiti.

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Highlights

What GAO Found

Since 2010, when a catastrophic earthquake struck Haiti, the U.S. has provided assistance to support the country's reconstruction and development. As of September 30, 2020, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) had obligated 95 percent and disbursed 89 percent of nearly $2.3 billion it had allocated in supplemental and annual appropriations funding for reconstruction and development in Haiti since fiscal year 2010. USAID directed about three-quarters of its total allocated funding to three assistance sectors—health and disabilities, economic and food security, and governance and rule of law. The agency allocated the remaining funding to five other sectors—shelter, energy, education, ports, and transport and technical services—and to operating and other expenses.

USAID's Total Allocations for Reconstruction and Development in Haiti from Fiscal Years 2010–2020 Appropriations, by Assistance Sector

USAID's Total Allocations for Reconstruction and Development in Haiti from Fiscal Years 2010–2020 Appropriations, by Assistance Sector

USAID funded 440 reconstruction and development activities in Haiti across the eight assistance sectors in fiscal years 2010 through 2020. Three sectors—health and disabilities, economic and food security, and governance and rule of law—accounted for most (351) of the activities. Specifically, USAID funded

  • 135 activities in the health and disabilities sector, including activities to improve maternal and child health care and health infrastructure;
  • 125 activities in the economic and food security sector, including training for workers and agricultural inputs for farmers; and
  • 91 activities in the governance and rule of law sector, including assistance for the national and municipal governments in services delivery.

U.S.-based organizations implemented 269 of the activities, Haiti-based organizations implemented 117 activities, and multilateral organizations and organizations based elsewhere than the U.S. or Haiti implemented 54 activities.

Why GAO Did This Study

More than a decade after the January 2010 earthquake, Haiti is still struggling to recover and faces serious development challenges. Since the earthquake, Haiti has experienced several additional calamities, including a cholera epidemic, hurricanes, and drought, which have further weakened the country's already fragile economic, social, and political institutions.

In July 2010, Congress appropriated $1.2 billion in supplemental funding for Haiti reconstruction. In addition, federal agencies, including USAID, have allocated funding from annual appropriations since the earthquake for reconstruction and development activities in Haiti. USAID has been the principal agency responsible for administering funds for these activities.

GAO was asked to examine the status of U.S.-funded reconstruction and development efforts in Haiti. This report describes (1) USAID's allocations, obligations, and disbursements for reconstruction and development in Haiti from appropriations for fiscal years 2010 through 2020 and (2) the reconstruction and development activities that USAID funded in Haiti in those fiscal years.

GAO analyzed USAID data, reviewed documents, and interviewed USAID officials in Washington, D.C., and Haiti. In a forthcoming report, GAO will examine the status of selected U.S. reconstruction and development activities in Haiti and the extent to which they have achieved their intended goals.

For more information, contact Latesha Love at (202) 512-4409 or lovel@gao.gov.

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