Caritas Switzerland’s engagement in Haiti began with an emergency response 40 years ago. Since then, its strategy has evolved towards a joint humanitarian and development approach in this extremely fragile country. The objective of Caritas Switzerland’s country strategy for the 2021–2025 period is to contribute to the eradication of poverty in Haiti through the implementation of projects and programmes linked to income and climate.
In February 2020, the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) noted a significant increase in the number of people in need, which had risen from 2.6 million in 2019 to 4.6 million. The vast majority of these people live in acute food insecurity. The country’s ongoing instability and structural weaknesses, as well as repeated external shocks, prevent the population from meeting their needs. Of Haiti’s 11 million inhabitants, 41% live in multi-dimensional poverty. Raising incomes and creating employment opportunities are therefore key aspects in its development. To help vulnerable people access healthy, nutritious and environmentally friendly food, emphasis is placed on increasing production by small producers and developing inclusive market systems. In addition, Caritas Switzerland supports young and other vulnerable people to access high-quality technical training to allow them to successfully join the labour market.
Haiti is particularly vulnerable to climate change, which is increasing the frequency and intensity of natural disasters affecting the country. Caritas Switzerland supports Haitian producers in adopting renewable energy sources, based in particular on natural waste, and encourages agricultural practices that protect the environment, such as reforestation and sustainable water management. Caritas Switzerland also promotes the establishment of disaster preparedness strategies.
Caritas Switzerland’s activities in Haiti are complemented by a strategic dimension and multi-partnership approach. Caritas Switzerland implements projects in Haiti through the country office in Port-au-Prince and the subsidiary office in Port-de-Paix. Interventions are carried out through strong local partnerships and multi-sectoral consortia to strengthen the sustainability and localisation of activities.