On January 12th, 2010, a powerful 7.0-magnitude earthquake struck the island nation of Haiti. The weak infrastructure of the country, which is ranked as the poorest in the Americas, could not sustain the impact of the quake and much of the capital, Port-au-Prince, as well as surrounding areas such as Jacmel and Carrefour, fell into rubble.
According to the Government of Haiti, 222,570 people died, over 300,000 were injured and some 2.3 million people were displaced. Furthermore, the collapse of 70,000 buildings generated 10 million cubic metres of debris.
In the immediate aftermath, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reported that 1.5 million people were living in 122 registered camps and in hundreds of spontaneous settlement sites in and around the affected areas. Close to 700,000 also migrated out of the affected areas and to live with host families.
Most schools, hospitals and other government buildings were either destroyed or damaged, incapacitating the country’s ability to respond.
Two years later, UN-OCHA is reporting that almost one million people have moved from camps to homes, 50 per cent of debris have now been removed, many schools and hospitals have been rebuilt, and more children are being educated today than before the earthquake.
Needs remain high, however, particularly for the poor and vulnerable, who risk being under-represented in the reconstruction process.
Development and Peace is contributing to meeting the needs of Haitians with a five-year program, which is focused on reconstruction and recovery. You can read more about the program in the Program tab at the top of this page.