Port-au-Prince — A 7.2 magnitude earthquake struck the southern part of Haiti on August 14th, leaving more than 800,000 people affected. Two days later, tropical storm Grace compounded the impact by damaging or destroying 130,000 homes. To estimate the impact on affected communities and to chart a path from early response to recovery, the government of Haiti launched a Post-Disaster Needs Assessment (PDNA) with support from the United Nations, the European Union, the World Bank, and with the participation of the Interamerican Development Bank, the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency and the Caribbean Development Bank.
The PDNA is a global methodology developed by the United Nations, the World Bank and the European Union which addresses the impact of disasters triggered by natural hazards and conflict-related crises, and leverages the expertise, capacities, and resources of the three institutions in support of government-led processes.
The six-week assessment was launched by Haiti’s interim prime minister Dr. Ariel Henry on 31 August, as part of a two-day workshop organized by the Ministry of Planning and External Cooperation. The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has taken a leading technical role as the overall coordinator for the United Nations System making specific contributions to the assessment in the areas of housing, disaster risk reduction, governance, gender, environment, and overall human impact.
The PDNA will support national authorities to undertake a more detailed assessment of damages, losses and post-earthquake needs and will inform the formulation of a long-term recovery strategy based on the findings of ten major socio-economic sectors: housing, health, education, water and sanitation, electricity, transport, agriculture, tourism, culture, and commerce and five cross-cutting issues including gender, livelihoods, disaster risk reduction, governance, and environment.
“UNDP is committed to support Haiti’s recovery efforts and will continue to assist early and long-term recovery efforts that enhance the resilience and recovery capacities of the country,” said Fernando Hiraldo, UNDP’s resident representative Resident in Haiti
UNDP is also contributing with the necessary logistics for the PDNA by providing senior advisory capacities, facilitating regular exchanges among joint teams engaging Government and partners to ensure complementary analysis, proper follow up and timely delivery of the end products, including the presentation of findings by the Government in mid-October 2021.
After the 2010 earthquake and for the last 11 years, UNDP Haiti has worked alongside Haitians and government institutions to integrate disaster risk management tools that can prevent and mitigate the disrupting effects of natural disasters. As a result, 18 risk prevention plans in priority areas in Port-au-Prince, the Grand’Anse, the North and Northeast are in place, and 53 municipalities are covered by multi-risk and micro-zoning seismic maps.
Following Hurricane Matthew in 2016, which impacted the same geographic area as the 2021 earthquake, UNDP quickly implemented a comprehensive recovery programme which enabled more than 30 local cooperatives and microenterprises to recover (50% were women-owned), and more than 50 civil society organisations to participate in local recovery and development processes at the local level. In addition, since 2010, UNDP has been working hand in hand with the National System for Disaster Management to grow national capacities to prepare and coordinate in response to disasters. UNDP also worked with the State University of Haiti to establish a master’s programme to train young Haitian scholars in geoscience, training the next generation of Haitian scientists in risk and prevention.
Building on this foundation, UNDP will continue to work with the government, the people of Haiti, and local and international partners to ensure that recovery and prevention efforts draw on national capacities, preserve the environment, foster greater resilience and leave no one behind.
UNDP is the leading United Nations organization fighting to end the injustice of poverty, inequality, and climate change. Working with our broad network of experts and partners in 170 countries, we help nations to build integrated, lasting solutions for people and the planet. Learn more at www.undp.org or follow at @UNDP.