Haiti: Earthquakes - Jan 2010
The earthquake that hit Haiti on 12 Jan 2010 affected almost 3.5 million people, including the entire population of 2.8 million people living in the capital, Port-au- Prince. The Government of Haiti estimates that the earthquake killed 222,570 and injured another 300,572 people. Displacement peaked at close to 2.3 million people, including 302,000 children. At least 188,383 houses were badly damaged and 105,000 were destroyed by the earthquake. Sixty per cent of Government and administrative buildings, 80 per cent of schools in Port-au-Prince and 60 per cent of schools in the South and West Departments were destroyed or damaged. Total earthquake-related loss is estimated at $7.8 billion, equivalent to more than 120 per cent of Haiti’s 2009 gross domestic product. (UN General Assembly, 2 Sep 2011)
According to the Humanitarian Action Plan for Haiti 2014 an estimated 172,000 people remained internally displaced in Haiti in 306 camps at the end of 2013, almost four years after the earthquake. Basic services in camps, including WASH and health, had declined faster than the pace of return or relocation of the displaced. 16,377 displaced families living in 52 camps were considered at high risk of forced evictions. Almost 80,000 people lived in 67 camps considered to be at particularly high risk of flooding, with an additional 30 camps at additional environmental risks.
By mid-2014, an estimated 104,000 people remained internally displaced in 172 camps. Almost 70,000 IDPs were not currently targeted by any return or relocation programs. (OCHA, 31 Jul 2014) By Sep, 85,432 people remained internally displaced in 123 camps. (IOM, 8 Oct 2014)
Humanitarian crises are increasingly affecting urban areas either directly, through civil conflict, hazards such as flooding or earthquakes, urban violence or outbreaks of disease, or indirectly, through hosting people fleeing these threats. The humanitarian sector has been slow to understand how the challenges and opportunities of working in urban spaces necessitate changes in how they operate. For agencies used to working in rural contexts, the dynamism of the city, with its reliance on markets, complex systems and intricate logistics, can be a daunting challenge.
Continuing our blog series marking the 5th anniversary of the Haiti Earthquake, HPG's Simon Levine reflects on the lack of long-term evaluations and calls for the need to understand what impact humanitarian aid had on Haiti years later.
The theme of the 61st edition of Humanitarian Exchange is the humanitarian situation in Yemen. Despite a political transition process, conflict between state and non-state armed actors has exacerbated the country's long-standing humanitarian challenges and restricted access to people in need.
The international aid response to the earthquake in Haiti is often spoken of as being unprecedented in its scale and in the nature of the challenges it faced. This paper in HPG’s “livelihoods and institutions” series suggests that most of the issues faced in Haiti were in fact common, if present to an unusual degree. This makes the aid response in Haiti a useful case study for understanding how aid agencies cope when emergency needs occur in the real, and highly imperfect, world.
Humanitarian space in Afghanistan and Pakistan is the theme of this edition of Humanitarian Exchange. A combination of violent conflict and natural disasters has led to widespread humanitarian needs in both countries. At the same time, humanitarian organisations face increasing challenges, undermining their ability to respond. The articles in this issue assess the nature of these challenges, and outline ways in which humanitarian organisations are attempting to overcome them.
- This Network Paper draws on field experience from more than a dozen Common Needs Assessments (CNAs) to identify the opportunities, costs and trade-offs involved in carrying them out.
- At their best, common inter-agency, inter-sectoral needs assessments help to develop a better joint understanding of needs, capabilities, and appropriate response.
Tuesday, January 11, 2011 by Jacobo Quintanilla, Internews Humanitarian Director and first CDAC Coordinator in Haiti.
In Haiti, as is the case in the aftermath of many natural or man-made disasters, the opportunity for affected communities to have their voices heard is still rare.
The special feature of this issue of Humanitarian Exchange focuses on the response to the January 2010 earthquake in Haiti. The earthquake killed more than 220,000 people and directly or indirectly affected almost one-third of the Haitian population. Although much of the early media coverage emphasised the tardiness and inefficiency of the humanitarian response, subsequent reviews have recognised the complex operating environment and the extensive challenges involved. That does not, however, mean that mistakes were not made.