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)
An estimated $9 billion of public and private funding has been spent on disaster recovery in Haiti since the 2010 earthquake. Of that, $2.25 billion in public funding has been disbursed by the United States alone. But despite the large amount of public money involved, it is nearly impossible to track how it has been spent and what has been achieved. The transparency and accountability of US spending in Haiti needs to be improved.
January 12 will mark the third anniversary of the tragic Haiti earthquake that killed over 220,000 people, displaced millions, and flattened much of Port au Prince. Damage and losses estimated at $7.8 billion exceeded Haiti’s entire GDP at the time. The country received unprecedented support in response: more than $9 billion has been disbursed to Haiti in public and private funding since 2010. Private donations alone reached $3 billion, much of it from individuals donating small sums via text messages to the Red Cross and other charities.
After the 2010 Haitian earthquake flattened Port-au-Prince, the United States responded with an outpouring of money, food, and medicine for Haiti. But a more effective form of assistance — the powerful tool of migration and labor mobility — was at first overlooked in relief and recovery efforts.
Since the 2010 earthquake, almost $6 billion has been disbursed in official aid to Haiti, a country with a population of just under 10 million. An estimated $3 billion has been donated to NGOs in private contributions in addition to official aid. The United States Government alone has disbursed almost $2 billion of this total amount and has pledged over $3 billion for relief and reconstruction.