Switzerland's activities in Haiti are focused on local governance, agriculture and food security, as well as employment and economic development. The aim is to contribute to a more just society and improve the living conditions of impoverished communities.

Haiti is the poorest country in Latin America, with around 60% of the population living below the national poverty line (USD 2.41 per day, 2012). Almost a quarter of the population is affected by food shortages or suffers from hunger. The country is frequently struck by natural disasters such as earthquakes, hurricanes and droughts. A major earthquake claimed 230,000 lives in 2010 and in 2016 Hurricane Matthew left a trail of devastation in the south of the country. Haiti has therefore depended again and again on emergency aid and humanitarian assistance for reconstruction efforts. In addition, longer-term development aid plays a central role in poverty reduction and in the promotion of sustainable economic and social development.

Cooperation strategy 2014–2017

Since 2013, Haiti has been a priority country for Swiss development cooperation as part of its engagement in fragile contexts. The overall objective of the SDC's 2014–2017 cooperation strategy in Haiti is to help improve the living conditions of the poorest people and to strengthen the rule of law. The SDC supports people in their efforts to adapt to natural disasters and in securing an environment favourable to their socio-economic development. The 2014–2017 cooperation strategy involves interventions in three priority areas:

Rule of law and good governance

By investing in infrastructure and capacity-building, Switzerland is helping the Haitian state to improve basic services in rural areas. In close cooperation with the public, improvements are being made to drinking-water supplies and sanitary facilities, and protection of natural parks is being enhanced. Switzerland is also providing targeted support to institutions that promote the rights of women and young people.

Agriculture and food security

Switzerland supports measures to improve food security. These include raising agricultural production, diversifying the product range and improving storage and marketing of produce. At the same time, Switzerland is helping to strengthen the capacity of the state to cope with crises and provides targeted food aid when required.

Rehabilitation and disaster risk reduction

In close collaboration with the Haitian authorities and the international community, Switzerland is implementing a programme to rebuild schools capable of withstanding natural disasters. In 2014, Switzerland launched a disaster risk reduction and management project which seeks to disseminate a 'mixed' risk analysis method (both scientific and participatory) among national experts and to develop prevention measures.

The total amount earmarked for the period 2014–2017 is approximately CHF 76 million.