Following a direct request from the Government of Haiti in 2008, UNEP established a country programme to address the environmental degradation, extreme poverty and disaster vulnerability of the country, which is the poorest in the Western Hemisphere. UNEP developed a five-year plan based on the Government’s priorities and set up a project office in Port-au-Prince with a core team of international and local staff, all equipped to implement a portfolio of diverse and practical projects.
The January 2010 earthquake, and the associated relief and recovery efforts of the UN, forced UNEP to radically change its plans. The organization implemented a range of short to medium term projects, mainly in energy, sanitation, resettlement planning and waste management in camps for Internally Displaced Persons in the affected areas. Simultaneously, UNEP provided emergency-related technical assistance on a national scale. These projects were completed at the end of 2011.
In 2011, UNEP resumed its planning and implementation of long-term sustainable development projects in Haiti, with a geographic focus on the southwestern peninsula, known as the “Grand Sud”. Based upon a newly developed set of government priorities and informed by the lessons learned since 2008, UNEP has identified and prioritized opportunities for interventions that will have a major and lasting impact on the country (See: Haiti Grand Sud programme).
The UNEP Country Programme Office is located in Port Salut in the South Department. A small Liaison Office is maintained in Port-au-Prince for national and transnational elements of the programme, UNCT and national representation and logistical support.