Haiti Loses $2.7 Billion in Hurricane Matthew

The United Nations office dedicated to disaster risk reduction called for urgent support to improve disaster risk management in Haiti, following a damage assessment that shows the country lost $2.7 billion, or 32 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP), as a result of Hurricane Matthew six months ago.

Hurricane Matthew revealed disturbing truths about least developed countries which lack the capacity to respond adequately to climate change and the rising intensity and frequency of weather-related disasters.

The magnitude of the losses shown by a thorough government-led Post-Disaster Needs Assessment would be a devastating blow to any economy. It came on top of two years of drought affecting the food security of one million people and the 2010 earthquake which cost 120 per cent of GDP.

In 2012, it was estimated that 58.6 per cent of the 10.7 million people live below the threshold of $2.4 per day while 24 per cent live in extreme poverty or less than $1.23 per day. Haiti is estimated to have lost on average 2 per cent of its GDP to weather-related disasters every year between 1975 and 2012.