In just around 35 seconds, the magnitude-7.0 earthquake that hit Haiti in January 2010 left thousands dead and ravaged already-shoddy infrastructure, causing massive destruction in one of the world’s poorest countries.
Donors have been quick to respond to the huge humanitarian crisis that unfolded. The march of nongovernmental organizations to Haiti is just one indication of the aid rush to the Caribbean state. Recently, the emphasis has been on dealing with Haiti’s more long-term development challenges — a struggling agriculture sector, for example — but hurdles to addressing the issues that were exacerbated by the earthquake, such as the continued lack of decent housing for many Haitians, remain.
Despite all this, Haiti has made considerable progress in the Millennium Development Goals, particularly in the areas of education and health. During a visit to Germany last October — the first official visit by a Haitian president to Germany since 1993 — Haiti President Michel Martelly remarked to German weekly Der Spiegel that there is a need to strengthen Haiti’s institutions — a self-aware assessment of the tendency of donors to work with NGOs in Haiti as well as the extent of the work that still needs to be done.
This worthwhile effort will likely still involve donor support, particularly in the area of governance. Below, we take a look at how much Haiti's donors plan to spend on the country, five years after the earthquake.