Haiti adhered to the ACP-EU Partnership Agreement in 1990 but the political events that unfolded between 1991 with the coup d'état against President Aristide and his final departure from the country in 2004 hampered fruitful and effective cooperation between the European Community and the country. The arrival of the United Nations Stabilisation Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) early 2004 opened a window of opportunity for change and allowed for renewed and enhanced cooperation with the country.
From 2004 the European Union (EU) focused on assisting Haiti with its political transition process and with the implementation of a national reconstruction plan covering short-term and medium-term programs, the "Interim Cooperation Framework", designed by the interim Government with the help of a group of leading donors, including the EU.
To date the European Community (EC) has committed some € 257 M for the financing of projects and programmes covering a wide range of rehabilitation and development activities from transport, education and health, through agriculture, food security and fisheries, to conflict prevention, election support and trade policy. The funding was secured from both the European Development Fund (EDF) and community budget lines. In addition Haiti benefited from humanitarian and emergency funds to enable local communities to prepare for and to mitigate natural disasters.
Early 2008 Haiti has regained political and security stability, but the situation remains fragile and precarious. The EU believes that State-building activities need to be pursued and that strong socio-economic development is required to sustain the newfound stability. Furthermore the capacity of the State to deliver basic services needs to be enhanced. The EU will base its cooperation strategy with Haiti for 2008 to 2013 on these premises. The strategy, developed jointly between the Government, the European Commission and the EU Member States represented in Haiti, is expected to be adopted in the first semester of 2008.
Where support for the transition period was provided in an ad hoc manner to respond rapidly and adequately to the needs as and when they became apparent, the improved situation in the country allows for a strategic approach enhancing efficiency and predictability of aid. While maintaining flexibility for linking relief, rehabilitation and development, the EC will focus its new interventions to a smaller number of areas:
Such an approach calls for effective donor coordination and the EC will continue its efforts to strengthen a Government led process in this regard.
Further the earthquake: