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)
Blanca Antonini , 5 September 2012
The earthquake of 2010 brutally exposed the vulnerabilities of Haiti’s people, as well as confronting an already weakly governed country with massive humanitarian and logistical dilemmas. While progress has been made towards reconstruction, the underlying fragility of the country remains. Even as certain donors reconsider their aid to the country, Haiti continues to suffer from economic dependence, environmental risk, an institutional vacuum, a heavily fragmented political landscape, and a continuing cycle of poverty and violence.
Half a year has passed since Michel Martelly was inaugurated as the new president of Haiti, and so far the earthquake-devastated country has seen little progress from his presidency. The reconstruction process is slow, and frustration and disgruntlement are growing among the population. Important time was wasted during the five months it took to appoint a new prime minister and put a new government in place. Martelly’s mandate was largely given to him by the country’s youth, who have high expectations of him.