When hurricane Matthew hit southern Haiti with enormous strength on 4 October 2016, the country was still struggling to recover from the effects of the earthquake in 2010 that led to the loss of more than 220 000 lives. Hurricane Matthew did not only lead to new human suffering and the loss of lives in Haiti again. It also destroyed houses, schools, roads, bridges, crops, fishing boats, ports, tourism and other income generating facilities. In general, it was a serious blow to the Haitian economy.

What is being done, and what can be done to bring humanitarian assistance in a way that not only saves lives, but also strengthens Haitian institutions, local production and economic activity?

The Norwegian Centre for Humanitarian Studies (NCHS) and the Peacebuilding Research Group at PRIO welcome you to a seminar on the challenges of humanitarian aid in Haiti in a situation of repeated natural disasters. A light lunch will be served during the seminar.

Speakers and Program

12:00 – Welcome and Introduction

12:10 – Situation report after Hurricane Matthew in Haiti

12:25 – Humanitarian assistance to Haiti: Norway’s contribution in context

  • Kristin Hoem Langsholt, Senior Advisor, Section for Humanitarian Affairs, Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs

12:50 – Hurricane Matthew and the challenges to long-term development cooperation

  • Ole Reidar Bergum, Senior Advisor, Latin America Section, Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs

13:00 – Challenges to the sustainability of humanitarian assistance in complex emergencies

13:10 – Discussion

13:30 – Wrapping up of the seminar

Additional information

Two related research papers and policy briefs may be of interest to those attending the event:

  • Wenche Hauge, Rachelle Doucet & Alain Gilles (2015) Building peace from below—the potential of local models of conflict prevention in Haiti, Conflict, Security & Development, 15:3, 259-282, available here.
  • Wenche Hauge (2015) Haitian migrant workers in the Dominican Republic: a different framework, available here.

Contact Amanda Cellini (amacel@prio.org) with any questions.

Photo: Hurricane Matthew damaged vital infrastructure in Haiti, 2016 (Norwegian Church Aid).