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EMERGENCIES IN LATIN AMERICA AND THE CARIBBEAN QUARTERLY OVERVIEW: January to March 2010, Year 1- Issue No. 1

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EARTHQUAKES

HAITI

The first trimester of 2010 has been dominated by two major earthquakes with devastating impacts in Haiti and Chile. On 12 January, an earthquake with a magnitude of 7.0 on the Richter scale severely hit Haiti and its capital, affecting around 3 million people - one in every three Haitians. Over 220,000 people were killed and an estimated 300,000 people injured. Some 1.5 million people were left homeless.

A massive international humanitarian response was organized in the immediate aftermath of the earthquake in view of the huge humanitarian challenges ahead and the fact that Government institutions and locally based UN and NGOs had been incapacitated while essential infrastructure had been seriously damaged or destroyed. The UN and humanitarian partners responded with their full capacity. Twelve clusters were activated, and hundreds of NGOs set up base in the country. Haiti also saw the biggest Search and Rescue operation ever as well as a large-scale use of and coordination with military assets. In addition, humanitarian staffs were deployed to the Dominican Republic which served as a logistic hub for the humanitarian operation in Haiti.

As a result of this collective effort and the generous support of donors, by the end of March, most of the immediate humanitarian needs had been met, and 80 percent of the 1.5 million homeless had been supplied with emergency shelter materials.

A Post Disaster Needs Assessment estimated the total value of damage and losses caused by the earthquake US$7.8 billion, equivalent to more than 120 percent of the 2009 Gross Domestic Product. Following an initial Flash Appeal on 15 January for US$575 million, a Revised Humanitarian Appeal for US$1.5 billion was launched on 18 February. This Revised Humanitarian Appeal is now 50 percent funded. In addition, a Donor Conference in New York on 31 March raised nearly US$10 billion, of which half pledged, for rehabilitation and reconstruction efforts over the next few years.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.