On January 12, 2010, a devastating earthquake struck Haiti’s capital Port-au-Prince and surrounding towns. As the country rebuilds, IDRC has supported critical research to help guide this effort, as part of Canada’s commitment to Haiti.
With IDRC’s help, a multinational team conducted an extensive household survey to assess needs and gather and share information about existing resources. We assisted well-established organizations in Haiti to improve the quality and continuity of health care by sharing medical information electronically.
This work builds on IDRC support for development in Haiti since 1975. The number of projects has grown considerably since 2000, as the country emerges from years of political turmoil and civil unrest. IDRC is helping lay the foundation for long-term peace and development through its support for research that strengthens democratic institutions and tackles poverty.
After suffering natural disasters, countries are often flooded with aid. Paradoxically, this help can sometimes be harmful when it undermines efforts to develop economic resilience and independence. These were the findings of IDRC-funded research conducted from 1998 to 2001. Our research covered six countries, including Haiti, where researchers studied food aid and its effects on local food producers.
We revealed that by relying more on local resources and knowledge, relief efforts can transform affected populations from victims to actors, and reinforce local capacity building. This valuable finding informed our approach to help rebuild Haiti after the earthquake.
Growing food, strengthening community
Access to healthy, affordable food has long been a problem in Haiti. But Haiti’s climate and topography are well-suited to the cultivation of fruits and vegetables. With funding from IDRC, local organizations showed 1,100 Port-au-Prince residents how to grow food in small spaces. They have reaped many benefits: improved diets and health, greater concern for the environment, reduced spending on food, increased self-esteem, and stronger neighbourhood bonds.
35 activities worth CA$9 million since 1975
Our support is helping
- train teachers and researchers in high-quality science and technology skills
- strengthen innovative agricultural practices so residents have enough to eat
- reduce infant and child mortality through better immunization
- develop financial services for vulnerable women and youth