Context and Objectives

As a result of vulnerable infrastructure, unplanned and rapid urbanization, and institutional fragility, Haiti is at severe risk of natural hazards and disaster events, the frequency and intensity of which are being exacerbated by climate change. Most of the country is exposed to two or more major hazards including tsunamis, hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, and landslides. In these circumstances, even moderate events have disastrous consequences, resulting in significant loss of life. Poverty reduction efforts and inclusive economic growth are also vulnerable to disaster-induced shocks, as most poor households can be economically impacted by just one shock. It is therefore critical that in order to protect lives and development gains, vital public infrastructure must be made disaster resilient. This is especially the case with educational facilities such as schools, as they are regularly used as shelters in the aftermath of disasters such as the 2010 earthquake and Hurricane Matthew in 2016.

The goal of the “Mainstreaming Disaster Risk Management in Public Infrastructure Management in Haiti” project is to reduce the vulnerability of public infrastructure to natural disasters by reducing existing risks and avoiding new ones through risk-informed construction and retrofitting of infrastructure. The project is supporting the government of Haiti in promoting and integrating the principles of Disaster Risk Management (DRM) with regards to public infrastructure management, and especially focusing on educational facilities. The project also supports the implementation of the World Bank-financed Haiti Development Policy Financing with a Catastrophe-Deferred Draw Down Option (Cat-DDO).

Main Activities

  • Component 1: Education Infrastructure Disaster Risk Diagnostic and Analysis: Investment scenarios are recommended to the Ministry of Education that integrate safety into both existing and proposed school infrastructure. This action is coordinated with the Model Safe School Program of the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) to ensure complementarity.
  • Component 2: Diagnostic on Resilience of Critical Public Infrastructure: This activity emphasizes the importance of building resilient infrastructure systems to provide reliable services to fulfill critical needs in the aftermath of a shock. The project aims to provide a diagnostic of Haiti’s critical public infrastructure (such as transport, energy, water).

Results

Under the first component of this project, activities are supporting the Ministry of National Education (ministère de l'Education nationale et de la Formation professionnelle - MENFP) to mainstream DRM in the national education sector and to better understand the needs of the sector to identify potential World Bank investments. Following the presentation to the MENFP of the Rapid Diagnostic on School Infrastructure in Haiti, a series of stakeholder consultations with 10 government officials were carried out to identify priorities based on the recommendations provided in the Rapid Diagnostic.  

The second component of this project focuses on developing a diagnostic on resilience to critical public infrastructure in Haiti. Exploratory discussions and consultations were held with stakeholders in the energy, water, and transport sectors, and the potential for collaboration was identified in the energy sector. Specific technical assistance is being provided to review the design of ongoing solar investments and provide recommendations to strengthen its resilience.

Partnerships and Coordination

The project is undertaken jointly with institutions of the government of Haiti including the Ministries of Public Works, of the Interior and Local Authorities, of Education, of Economy and Finance, of Planning, and of External Cooperation.