Haiti

Primo Meritee, 62, lives in Ti Sous with her four children and 3 grandchildren. “I’m happy when it rains. I collect the water for washing and cooking. When it doesn’t rain we have to pay for water.” Photo credit: Vincent Tremeau / Oxfam

Haiti is the third largest country in the Caribbean, it is the most populous country in the Caribbean Community, with an estimated population of over 10 million, it is also one of the most unequal societies in the world. The overwhelming majority of society started from origins of slavery. Poverty in Haiti remains to a large extent characterized by extreme social inequalities, exclusion from power and decision-making and increasing vulnerability to disasters as well as the conflict inherent to systemic socio-political instability. 

On top of this the people face tropical storms, cyclones, floods, wind damage, earthquakes and epidemics. 

Oxfam in Haiti

Oxfam has been working in Haiti since 1978. After the initial humanitarian response to the devastating earthquake of 2010 we concentrated our programs on reconstruction and growth in urban, sub-urban and rural areas with a focus on transitioning from humanitarian needs to long term development options. 

In 2016, our teams distributed clean water, fixed water supplies and provided shelter and emergency food to tens of thousands of people, after Hurricane Matthew swept through the Caribbean on October 4th.  The hurricane was one of the most powerful storms ever recorded in the Caribbean region and caused the biggest humanitarian emergency in Haiti since the 2010 earthquake.

Throughout our work in Haiti we integrate both disaster risks and climate change into development and humanitarian programmes, to influence international, national and local actors, to support interagency coordination mechanisms, and to support the national implementation of Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation policy and practice. 

Our priorities

Oxfam affiliates are working together in Haiti towards a more egalitarian and inclusive country, free from all forms of violence, where women, young people and men, fully enjoy economic opportunity, and whose population is protected against adverse social, economic, natural and man-made disasters. 

We are working with our partners to:

  • Strengthen the rule of law by working with empowered women, youth and smallholder farmers on active citizenship, accountable governance and equal access programming and initiatives at local and national level. 
  • Increase the resilience of highly marginalized and vulnerable groups, particularly women and girls in urban and rural areas, through a multi-sector approach that includes sound programming on the food system, risks management and social protection, while simultaneously accounting for access to a sustainable environment and natural resources locally, nationally and bi-nationally. 
  • Contribute to the recuperation of national sovereignty, notably by addressing the dependence and lack of diversity inherent to the food and economic systems with a view towards the perpetual and systematic reduction of inequalities. 
  • Oxfam supports partners and communities to assess mining policies and practices while making linkages to poverty reduction strategies.