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)
Sometimes it‘s difficult to imagine that another natural disaster could ever happen again, leaving massive destruction in its wake like the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami or the earthquake in Haiti. But then with incredible force, typhoon Haiyan struck, creating a catastrophe of almost incomprehensible proportions.
Snapshot 08 – 15 October
In Syria, heavy fighting is ongoing in Rural Damascus, Dar’a, Aleppo, Idleb and Homs, with government forces making gains in Rural Damascus while the opposition has won ground in Dar’a. Despite the call of al-Qaeda’s leader for opposition fighters to unite, inter-group fighting has escalated in Aleppo over control for neighbourhoods. Meanwhile, the Syrian National Council announced that it did not intend to participate in the proposed Geneva II peace talks.
In Syria, heavy fighting along the border with Jordan in the southern province of Dar’a is on-going. After a week-long battle in Aleppo, the Government army regained control of the strategic town of Khanasser which is located on a key supply route between central Syria and Aleppo. Meanwhile, ground fighting is ongoing across Syria, with clashes extending to the previously relatively stable governorate of Tartous.
Snapshot 12 – 19 August
In Syria, fighting between governmental forces and opposition groups has been concentrated in Aleppo, Deir-ez-Zor, Homs, Lattakia and Rural Damascus this week. Meanwhile, infighting is ongoing within the opposition. As during previous weeks, FSA forces have clashed with Islamist opposition groups on multiple occasions while Kurdish groups continued to fight with Islamist groups in the north of the country. The mass influx of Syrian refugees to neighbouring countries is ongoing. As of 19 August, over 1.9 million Syrians had fled the country.
Fighting continued unabated throughout Syria, in particular in Hama, Aleppo, Ar-Raqqa, Dar’a, Deir-ez-Zor, Homs, Idleb, Lattakia and around Damascus. 6.8 million people are in need in of humanitarian assistance in the country, 4.25 million people are displaced and over 1.4 million people have fled into neighbouring countries.
6.8 million people are in need in of humanitarian assistance in Syria and the UNHCR has defined the crisis as the worst humanitarian disaster since the end of the cold war. 4.25 million people are displaced and over 1.3 million people have fled into neighbouring countries. Fierce fighting continues across the country and cross-border shelling into Lebanon has intensified over the last days.
Feeling good about doing good is not always easy in our work. Especially when you consider that often the backdrop for doing good is poverty, crisis, conflicts and disasters. But, like everybody else, we need encouragement and we need acknowledgement, even when behind what we do is sadness or tragedy.