CRS in Haiti
For more than 60 years, CRS has worked in Haiti to tackle poverty, create more powerful and just societies, and help communities develop the knowledge, understanding, and skills to bring about desired change so they can drive their own recovery and development. Partnering with the Catholic Church, the Government of Haiti, and more than 200 faith-based and community-based organizations, our work includes:
With more than 200 partner organizations, including an extensive network of Catholic Church partners, CRS is able to deploy relief supplies just hours after disaster strikes—even in the remotest of locations. In the aftermath, we provide transitional housing and help rebuild livelihoods.
When Hurricane Matthew hit Haiti on October 4, 2016, CRS responded quickly, reaching 10,000 people with distributions in the first 3 weeks. As more emergency supplies became available, we increased our reach and, within the first 3 months, assisted more than 200,000 people. We engaged local vendors to supply small farmers with seeds and tools, and support training to help families, tradespeople, and engineers to build safer homes. This response also incorporated CRS’s lessons learned from CRS Haiti’s response to the 2010 Haiti Earthquake and 2008 Food Crisis.
Over the past decade, CRS has built relationships and collaborated with public and/or private education service providers throughout all ten departments in Haiti. CRS has directly implemented activities that improve access and quality of education, as well as provided institutional capacity strengthening to local education partner organizations and school-based educators. CRS’ experience with education programming in Haiti includes access to quality education, capacity strengthening, and early grade literacy program implementation. Current programming includes close collaboration with the University of Notre Dame and the Episcopal
Commission for Catholic Education (CEEC) iis a 3-year initiative to improvereading and writing outcomes for Haitian children in 340 public and Catholicschools through improved access to quality instructional materials in both Creole and French, and ongoing coaching and training of first and second grade educators. Additionally, CRS is partnering with World Food Program in a 2-year school feeding program to provide literacy intervention and teacher capacity- building in 40 schools for 6,000 students and 160 teachers.
Health and Social Services
Within the health and social services sector, CRS Haiti leverages longstanding partnerships with the local Church, Haitian Ministry of Public Health and Population (MSPP), research institutions, CBOs, and the private sector to ensure effective and efficient implementation and monitoring of health programs in Haiti. CRS Haiti’s health programs excel in health systems strengthening (HSS) and institutional strengthening, maternal and child health and nutrition (MCHN), Human Immunodeficiency Virus/Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (HIV/AIDS), child wellbeing, emergency response, and water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH). CRS Haiti approaches these programs through a lens of engaging and strengthening families, communities, institutions and all components of the health system in Haiti.
Our agriculture projects help farm families cope with changing weather conditions, build resilient farming systems and grow them into agro-enterprises that engage successfully with markets.
CRS Haiti helps subsistence farmers meet their basic needs by teaching them to supplement their staple crops with vegetables and livestock, create savings groups for investment capital and use new technology. As farmers transition to the formal market, we help them organize, access financial services, improve farm infrastructure and connect to buyers. As communities learn new skills, we work with leading private-sector companies committed to sustainably sourcing their products. Promoting value chains for key crops such as cacao, coffee, and mangos in Haiti is instrumental in ensuring farmers reach their full potential.
Underlying our work is the knowledge that we must protect farmers’ most precious resources: soil and water. About 80 percent of agricultural land in Haiti has been affected by man-made soil degradation, largely through inappropriate farming practices. Given that most watersheds in Haiti are affected by farming, our water strategy includes promoting sustainable agriculture practices and watershed protection.
With a broad network of local and church partners and deep roots in the communities where we work, CRS is uniquely positioned to assist with community capacity building. We strengthen local organizations, support grassroots advocacy, and provide strategic guidance that leads to sustainable change. Our Partnership and Capacity Strengthening tools and programs, such as the Institute for Capacity Strengthening, are a natural outgrowth of longstanding CRS principles. In Haiti CRS works closely with the Church and all 10 dioceses, as well as the Church education network (CEEC).
Country News and Stories
October 17, 2019
CRS: Humanitarian disaster looms in Haiti
CRS experts warn political turmoil and violent unrest has pushed Haiti to brink of collapse
June 21, 2018
Cacao d’Ayti Haitian Cacao Conference
Conference formulates the first nationwide plan for Haiti's growing cacao sector.
January 12, 2018
CRS Is Honored to Work with People Across Africa, in Haiti and Around the World
CRS also stands with the people of Haiti on the 8th anniversary of the 2010 earthquake.
November 21, 2017
CRS Opposes Administration's Decision to Terminate Protective Status for Haitians
Haiti is still recovering from the catastrophic 2010 earthquake.
CRS' History in Haiti
Catholic Relief Services began working in Haiti in 1954 after Hurricane Hazel devastated the country and killed about 1,000 people. High population density, severe deforestation and decaying infrastructure make Haiti particularly vulnerable to the effects of natural disasters such as hurricanes, earthquakes and floods.
CRS Haiti continues its long-standing commitment to helping the Haitian people in many aspects of their lives, including sustainable development efforts after the 2010 earthquake. In Haiti, CRS responds to emergencies, provides agriculture assistance, supports education and works to enhance the health care system throughout the country.