Humanitarian assistance

On January 12, 2010, an earthquake devastated Haiti. It was the biggest tremor to hit the country in 200 years. In less than one minute, almost half of the homes in Port-au-Prince and its surroundings were reduced to dust.  

The earthquake was a major catastrophe for the country:

  • Magnitude of 7.3 on the Richter scale;
  • The epicenter of the quake was in the most populated area of the island;
  • Over 200,000 deaths and more than 300,000 injured;
  • 1.3 million people were left homeless; and
  • More than 200,000 homes were destroyed.

In the hours following the earthquake, Development and Peace and its partners immediately took action by allocating financial resources and deploying human and material resources to provide critical assistance to affected populations.

We teamed up with partners from the Caritas network, including Caritas Haiti and Catholic Relief Services, to come to the assistance of victims. At all times, human dignity was at the heart of our humanitarian response.

“The population of Port-au-Prince has grown very quickly and almost anarchically over the past 25 years. Many peasants have left the countryside to settle in Port-au-Prince, and due to their lack of resources and the general political turmoil, the city was not built safely for its inhabitants and houses were very fragile. The last earthquake in Haiti occurred many generations ago, therefore people did not think it could happen again, and it was a surprise for everyone,” explains Archbishop Guire Poulard of the Archdiocese of Port-au-Prince.

In order to successfully carry out its reconstruction program, Development and Peace set up a local office in Haiti. This local team has provided comprehensive support to partners and has ensured direct and ongoing relations with them.