The United States is “committed to supporting the Haitian people build a more prosperous and secure nation.”
“Haiti has long struggled with serious development challenges,” said Elizabeth Hogan, Acting Assistant Administrator for the United States Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Bureau for Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC).
In testimony, October 9th, before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs, together with U.S. Department of State, Haiti Special Coordinator Tom Adams, Acting Assistant Administrator for the LAC Bureau, Hogan noted, “The devastating 2010 earthquake, coupled with periods of political unrest, other natural disasters, and limited capacity of government institutions, exacerbated these long-standing issues.”
“USAID’s program has seen notable successes in overcoming these challenges,” she said, while noting that “the long-term sustainability of these programs and the development of Haiti depends on the Government of Haiti’s ability to maintain the advances made through these activities and to take the sometimes difficult steps needed so it can better meet the needs of their citizens.”
Hogan said, “Since the 2010 earthquake, 74 percent of the rubble has been removed. USAID interventions in agriculture are helping 100,000 farmers improve their agricultural practices.”
Through USAID efforts crop yields and childhood vaccinations have increased, and childhood malnutrition and mortality have decreased. USAID shelter programs have helped to reduce the number of internally displaced persons in camps by 80 percent.
USAID is empowering Haitian farmers by strengthening market linkages, which are essential to increasing small farmers’ incomes. Farmers’ associations can now bypass middlemen and market their crops under their own brand name.
The U.S. government, together with other donors, is helping the Haitian government establish a more business-friendly regulatory environment to lower the cost of doing business, ensure greater competition, allow easier access to markets and increase domestic and foreign investments.
The United States is also supporting the Government of Haiti’s efforts to improve the quality of basic education. To address this issue, USAID’s education program focuses on improving reading skills for children in first through third grades in the U.S. government’s three development corridors of Port-au-Prince, Cap Haitien, and Saint Marc.
The United States is assisting Haiti in meeting its critical housing shortage, providing for Haiti’s growing energy needs, and helping farmers improve their agricultural practices.
Working with the Government of Haiti, said Hogan, the United States is “committed to supporting the Haitian people build a more prosperous and secure nation.”