State of Nonprofit Sector in Haiti
Following the devastating earthquake in 2010, funders pledged billions of dollars to assist in Haiti’s recovery. However, funders promised far more aid to Haiti for emergency earthquake recovery than they delivered; the Center for Economic and Policy Research reported that aid organizations received $2.4 billion from 2010 to 2012 out of $16.3 billion pledged over the ten years. Of the aid delivered, most went to international aid agencies, often spent on their own staff and consultants. Local Haitian organizations and business received an estimated 0.6% of all of the emergency relief and reconstruction aid.
Unfortunately, this trend of the bulk amount of aid being spent outside of the country in need is nothing new. For too long, aid and development have failed Haiti; instead of building local capacity, the foreign capital distributed has primarily taken a short-term project-based approach.
Local nonprofits and community-based organizations have worked tirelessly to fill this void. However, while the nonprofit sector provides tremendous value to rural communities, it is unable to meet the growing poverty gap. Many suffer from a lack of capacity evidenced by their deteriorating fiscal health, insufficient leadership, piecemeal technical skills, poor collaboration, limited innovation, and unhealthy competition for funding. As such it is critical that efforts be undertaken to establish institutions and program that will assist Haiti’s civil society in finding ways to address these social issues and regain hope in a better tomorrow for all Haitians.