Emergency response: Haiti earthquake, August 2021 – February 2022



2,207 deaths and over 12,000 injured

650,000 people in need of humanitarian assistance; including 260,000 children

130,000 houses partially or completely destroyed

53 health facilities partially damaged and 6 destroyed

308 schools destroyed or heavily damaged

55 water supply systems severely damaged. 81,000 people lost access to their drinking water source

Situational Overview

On 14 August 2021, a 7.2 magnitude earthquake hit the southwestern region of Haiti severely impacting South, Nippes and Grand’Anse departments. Following the earthquake, the three departments were drenched by Tropical Depression Grace, further disrupting access to water, sanitation, shelter, and other basic services. Latest figures estimate that 800,000 people, including 340,000 children, have been affected by the earthquake which has left more than 2,200 dead and over 12,000 injured.

Assessments are in progress: initial reports show nearly 53,000 homes have been destroyed and more than 77,000 have sustained damages, while 6 health facilities are reportedly destroyed and 53 damaged. Schools have been highly impacted with 308 schools damaged or destroyed (as per initial estimates), leaving 100,000 children at risk of losing their education this year. Early WASH assessments found 55 piped water supply systems severely damaged and more than 1,800 with minor damages. Preliminary findings in Child Protection highlight risks of family separation, unaccompanied and separated children, gender-based violence (GBV), child trafficking and smuggling, and significant needs for psychosocial support. Initial estimations indicate that households’ capacity to cover their basic needs is less than 25% of a minimum expenditure basket. Devastating effects on assets and livelihoods, combined with increased needs for recovery, will exacerbate the deprivations already suffered by the most vulnerable families with children, especially women-headed households. Furthermore, criminal violence and insecurity are also complicating the humanitarian response, as the main road from Port-au-Prince to the affected area is controlled by gangs.

The quake could not have come at worst time for Haiti, which is still reeling from the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse on 7 July and escalating gang violence which has resulted in the internal displacement of around 19,000 people in the metropolitan area, while 4.4 million people were already in need of humanitarian assistance prior to the earth quake in the country, including 2.2 million children. In addition, mounting cases of COVID-19 are adding pressure to an already fragile health system.