The magnitude 7.0 earthquake that struck Haiti on January 12, 2010 significantly deepened existing challenges and created massive reconstruction needs for a country that was already the poorest in the Western Hemisphere. In spite of the enormity of the task, three years after the earthquake, much has been done by Haitians and the Haitian Government, in partnership with CSOs, the private sector, and the international community. Of the 1.5 million internally displaced people, nearly 1.2 million have left the camps and relocated. Reconstruction programs are repairing and building safe housing and upgrading neighborhoods. Most of the 11 million cubic meters of debris has been removed, making Port-au-Prince's roads passable. Many schools have been reconstructed and for the 2012/2013 school year, the government has committed to pay fees for 900,000 children while donors finance free access to education for another 230,000 children for six years of primary school. Through a national school feeding program, 2 million children receive a hot meal every day. Nevertheless, much remains to be done to reduce poverty and improve the lives of Haitians.
The political situation has been relatively stable with the Government, led by Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe, trying to accelerate government-led efforts for reconstruction, work “vite et bien” (quickly and well), and address longstanding service delivery gaps. The government has adopted a pro-active private sector development agenda, highlighted by a “Haiti is open for business” campaign aimed at promoting foreign investment and links with the diaspora. The government is taking action to combat extreme poverty in Haiti by bringing all stakeholders together and launching social safety initiatives for the poorest.
Haiti remains the poorest country in the Americas and one of the poorest in the world (with a GDP per capita of US$ 725 in 2011), with significant needs in basic services. Over half...
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