As Haiti faces the daunting task of recovery after the devastating earthquake, past experiences provide some lessons. Factors making a crucial difference to the effectiveness of actions include the nature of the immediate response, diagnosis, project design and supervision, use of local capacity, private sector links, and coordination among partners, including within the World Bank Group. Many of the lessons from previous natural disaster episodes are relevant now; yet, Haiti's distinct country conditions must also be kept in mind. Indeed, several factors make the response in Haiti especially overwhelming the breakdown of social order and a fragile security situation; the near-complete loss of governance structures; and the failure, before the earthquake, to impose even minimum quality standards on the construction industry. Complicating matters further will be the unprecedented scale of charitable donations earmarked for emergency relief, and the arrival of many new relief agencies, which tend to prioritize unilateral action over coordination.