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)
The earthquake that struck Haiti on January 12, 2010 sparked a massive displacement crisis. At the peak of the crisis, there were over 1.5 million internally displaced persons (IDPs) in 1,500 camps scattered across Port-au-Prince and the surrounding regions. Four years later, approximately 147,000 IDPs remain in 271 camps. These declines are dramatic, but it is difficult to determine the extent to which those uprooted have been able to access truly durable solutions to their displacement, and what should be done to support solutions for those who remain displaced.
Four years ago today, residents of Port-au-Prince, Haiti awoke to a city destroyed. The earthquake of January 12, 2010 killed as many as 220,000 people. 105,000 homes were destroyed and over 188,000 badly damaged, sparking a displacement crisis the country was particularly ill-equipped to handle. Even before the disaster, Haiti ranked 145 out of 169 countries on the UN’s Human Development Index, the lowest in the western hemisphere, and was facing a major housing shortage.
by Elizabeth Ferris
Much has been written about Haiti since the massive earthquake devastated the country three years ago this week. Hundreds of evaluations and thousands of reports have been written by the humanitarian community and many more by other actors. I took a quick look at our own website and was surprised to find that in the last three years I have written 18 blogs, articles and op-eds on Haiti and our small project has organized 6 events to debate issues related to Haitian relief and recovery.
Haiti is often nicknamed the "republic of NGOs." Since the earthquake of 12 January 2010, the number of NGOs – mostly relief and development groups – working in Haiti exploded from 3,000 to an estimated 10,000. Touching down in Port-au-Prince on Friday, it struck me that Haiti, or at least its capital, could also be known as the republic of rebar. Across the cityscape, rebar protrudes from thousands of roofless buildings, attesting to the progress made since the earthquake that virtually flattened the city and killed 223,000, but also the work that remains to be done.
Population growth, urbanization and climate change expose increasing numbers of people to natural hazards in urban areas. From New Orleans in 2005 to Port-au-Prince, Haiti in 2010, recent urban disasters in developing and developed countries have drawn attention to challenges in post-disaster reconstruction of urban areas.
Elizabeth Ferris, Co-Director, Brookings-LSE Project on Internal Displacement