Serious natural disasters that have affected Haiti over the past number of years have had a devastating impact on the country and have led to widespread need among the population.
While recovery efforts to the 2010 earthquake have continued, subsequent natural events, such as Hurricane Matthew in 2016, as well as political and economic factors, have contributed to a continuing difficult humanitarian, social and economic situation in the country.
The recent civil unrest in Port au Prince, and related worrying reports of violence, is a demonstration of the complex situation that remains in the country.
Ireland has been and remains a committed supporter and partner of Haiti, particularly in the aftermath of significant natural disasters. For the period of 2010-2017, Ireland provided over €27 million in humanitarian and longer term development funding.
In the immediate aftermath of the earthquake, Ireland airlifted 130 tonnes of emergency supplies to Haiti for distribution to those most in need. The Government then provided a total of €13.9 million in funding for Haiti for the period 2010-2012.
As a part of Ireland’s support to the ongoing earthquake recovery process, Irish Aid provided funding to GOAL in 2013, 2014 and 2015 amounting to €1.45 million for resilience and water and sanitation projects in Port-au-Prince and Gressier.
Since the earthquake, there have been 19 deployments of the Irish Aid-administered Rapid Response Corps to Haiti to assist in areas such as logistics, engineering and water and sanitation. Members have been deployed to work with organisations such as the UN World Food Programme (WFP), Concern Worldwide, Goal and the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).
In addition to this humanitarian support, Irish Aid provides longer-term development assistance to the Haitian people. Between 2010 and 2017, over €10.97 million of Irish Aid funding was channelled through Concern Worldwide (€8.6 million), the missionary organisation Misean Cara (€1.76 million), and Haven (€489,919) for long-term development interventions in Haiti.
Ireland continued supporting partner organisations in development assistance efforts in 2018, although final figures with a country breakdown for Haiti are not yet available.
I can assure the Deputy that Ireland remains committed to working to alleviate the humanitarian needs of the most vulnerable members of the Haitian population and to long-term development assistance to strengthen civil society, community and government structures in the country.