Haiti to Receive US$42m Grant to Improve Natural Disaster Mitigation

As per news report dated December 17, 2015, the Washington-based financial institution 'Inter-American Development Bank (IDB)' which is one of the main long term economic financiers of the Latin America and the Caribbean, would provide US$42 million grant to Haiti to improve its watershed managements especially in the rural areas. With this fund Haiti will be able to increase its capacity to mitigate the harmful effects of climate change, especially in the agricultural sector and encounter the threats of losses due to floods and land erosion. It would be able to improve its water and sediment conservation in selected gullies of important watersheds particularly in some areas like Centre-Artibonite Loop and enhance the educational capacity of the Faculty of Agronomy and Veterinary Medicine. Haiti's main four targeted projects suffer about $28 million loss, every year. Eighty percent of Haiti's land area is mountainous, only 28% of the land is arable or suitable for cultivation. Agriculture in Haiti is very closely linked to the climate factor which is again very much vulnerable to natural disasters because of Haiti's geographical location on the Caribbean cyclonic belt. Agriculture contributes 25% of Haitian GDP, 5.9% of total export, 71% rural employment and 47% overall employment of the country. IDB considers Haiti as one of the top countries in the index of highest natural disaster risk. Practically, as per the World Risk Index calculated by the United Nations University, Haiti is positioned on the 21st rank (with 11.88% disaster threat). Vanuatu tops the list of 172 countries with 36.43% threat.


A watershed is the area of land that catches rain and snow and drains or seeps into a river, stream, lake, marsh or groundwater. Watershed protection is a way of protecting a river, stream or lake by managing the entire watershed that drains into it; it makes the water suitable for use. Any good water management plan should be based on a proper watershed plan. Haiti has about 30 important watersheds within the country.

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