IOM, together with key stakeholders, including governmental, nongovernmental actors and affected populations, is committed to addressing immediate and long-term mobility-related challenges in Haiti by enhancing the capacities of national institutions to better manage their borders and regional migration dynamics, reducing forced movement and the vulnerability of affected and at-risk populations, building resilience to identified risks, and mainstreaming migration into the development agenda through policy and legislation.
Haiti is exposed to extreme weather conditions and frequent natural disasters due to its position over two major tectonic faults, as well as being situated within the "Hurricane Alley". A widespread lack of resources has resulted in insufficient capacity at the institutional level to protect and assist the population before, during and after disasters, and in addressing long-term climate change adaptation needs. The country also continues to experience increasing insecurity, overpopulation, widespread poverty, enormous economic inequalities, and high exposure to epidemics. This is exacerbated by a weak health system, scarcity of water, poor sanitation and hygiene infrastructures, chronic food insecurity and high environmental degradation. All of these factors combined render the country particularly vulnerable, with 4.6 million people in need of humanitarian assistance (HRP, 2020).
Migration dynamics of Haitians remain one of the most complex and challenging in the region. It is estimated that there are more than 1.6 million Haitian migrants across the world (MPI, 2020), mostly in the United States of America, Canada, the Dominican Republic, France and the Bahamas. A significant increase in movements and repatriations of Haitian migrants have been observed for the better part of 2019 and continued in 2020 due to the enforcement of neighbouring migration policies, albeit less frequently due to COVID-19 related movement restrictions. A total of 2,972 migrants have been repatriated to Haiti since 2018, including 1,052 just between June and November 2020. These include 0.5% pregnant and 1.1% breastfeeding women, 0.6% disabled people, 2% unaccompanied minors, 1.8% elderly and 0.7% chronically ill. Adding to these challenges, the country has been experiencing an increase in gang-related activity since September 2020. Growing violence is especially notable in urban and peri-urban areas of Port-au-Prince, leading to the displacement of people living in affected vulnerable neighbourhoods. These factors combined contribute to exacerbating the country's vulnerability, undermining the government's capacity to address the needs of the Haitian population and thus directly driving irregular migration flows.