Furthering economic and social inclusion for people with disabilities in Haiti

World Bank, April 26, 2021

The 2010 earthquake caused nearly 10 percent of Haitian households to experience loss of, or injury to, a family member, increasing the number of persons with disabilities (PwDs) in the country. According to a 2012 study in the Port au Prince metropolitan area, disability, defined as some difficulty in at least two functional domains or serious difficulty or incapacity in one domain, now affects an estimated 4.1 percent of people aged five and over. The results of the 2012 household survey indicated that of the 280,000 people injured during the earthquake, one quarter were severely injured and 7 percent incurred at least one permanent disability, including both physical disabilities, such as loss of a limb, as well as mental disabilities. The prevalence of disability was higher for women than for men and increased with age. Around 16 percent of households had at least one member with disabilities.

In addition to the earthquake, the most commonly cited causes of disability were birth or congenital anomalies, noncommunicable diseases. These trends were confirmed in the 2016–2017 Demographic and Health Survey, which found 3 percent of the population over the age of five had a lot of difficulty in one domain; 1 percent were incapable of functioning in one domain; and 20 percent of the population over the age of 60 were considered disabled. Visual disability is the most prevalent form of disability, followed by cognitive disability.

PwDs in Haiti are likely to experience adverse socioeconomic outcomes, including unemployment, living in extreme poverty, and facing numerous barriers to entering the workplace. While unfortunately there are no reliable or representative estimates, a 2012 study conducted in the Port-au-Prince Metropolitan Area found households with PwDs to be larger than average, with a higher economic dependence ratio, and the share of PwDs active in labor market much lower than average (33 vs. 67%).[1]

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