Haiti is the poorest country in the Americas. With a population of 10.2 million, the country ranks 158 out of 187 on the United Nations Development Program’s 2011 human development index.

Development efforts in Haiti experienced a setback in January 2010 when a powerful earthquake hit the capital, Port-au-Prince, and neighboring regions. The earthquake killed 230,000 people,displaced 1,300,000 persons, destroyed infrastructure, and severely disrupted basic services and economic activity. This calamity occurred at a time when Haiti had just completed a year of relative stability in terms of security and development as well as progress on human rights after the major natural disasters of 2008.

The Government of Haiti continues its efforts to generate revenue to finance the investments needed to rebuild the country, boost the economy, and implement its poverty reduction strategy (PDF, 1 KB, 275 pages). Haiti has made great efforts to improve its economic governance. Through the project to strengthen public sector management, mobilize tax revenue, and help service debt, foreign aid assistance directly supports the Government of Haiti in meeting its immediate priorities and its challenges.

Earthquake-stricken Haitians continue to live under extremely difficult conditions, especially in the Jacmel, Léogâne, and Port-au-Prince regions, which were at the epicenter. The needs remain enormous, and it will take years for Haiti to recover and rebuild. Earthquake-damaged infrastructure requires major work, and several essential services have not yet been restored.