Haiti: Earthquake - Operation 6-month Update, Emergency Appeal №: MDRHT018



The Haiti Red Cross Society (HRCS) has reached 15,884 households within six months following the 14 August 2021, 7.2-magnitude earthquake. Through this Emergency Appeal, the IFRC has supported the HRCS to distribute multi-sector family kits that contain 2 tarpaulins, 1 shelter tool kit, 2 blankets, 2 long-lasting insecticidal nets (LLIN), 1 hygiene kit, 2 jerry cans and 1 bucket.

Through the revised emergency appeal, the IFRC in coordination with the HRCS has increased the original target of 25,000 people (5,000 households) to now aim to reach 35,000 people (7,000 households) in Sud, Nippes and Grand’ Anse departments.

All Emergency Response Units completed their missions by December 2021 and in-country and field staff was hired to continue the operation in the long term. This operation is implementing actions in Shelter; Livelihoods, and Basic Needs; Health; Water Sanitation and Hygiene; Protection, Gender, and Inclusion; Migration; and Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR). The enabling actions of Strengthening National Societies; Influencing others as strategic partners and Strengthening Coordination and Accountability underpin the sector-level actions.
With the leadership of the HRCS, the IFRC-network partners in the country and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) continue to coordinate and complement actions. The IFRC provided membership coordination services while it rolled out a Federation-wide approach to this operation.

In Les Cayes, the Red Cross Emergency Hospital (RCEH), EMT Type 2, was operational from 29 August until 30 November with deployments from the Finnish Red Cross, supported by the Canadian Red Cross, French Red Cross, German Red Cross, Japanese Red Cross and Swedish Red Cross, and the Hong Kong Branch of Red Cross Society of China. The RCEH assisted 5,238 outpatient department visits, 615 hospitalized patients, 381 psychosocial support visits, 136 people in need of protection, 115 deliveries (278 antenatal consultations), 92 surgeries and 152 physiotherapy visits.

Thanks to a strong donor response, the 750,000 Swiss franc loan to this Emergency Appeal operation has been replenished. The IFRC expresses its sincere gratitude to all partners who have supported this Emergency Appeal and encourages further donations to enable the achievement of all the planned actions.


Description of the disaster

The 7.2-magnitude earthquake on 14 August 2021, with its epicentre 13 km southeast of Petit Troup de Nippes (Nippes department) had a severe impact on Haiti’s departments of Sud, Nippes and Grand ‘Anse. The Haitian General Directorate of Civil Protection (DGPC) reported 2,248 deaths; 12,763 injured people; and 329 people who remain missing; this institution has identified 53,815 destroyed homes and 83,770 damaged homes.

Following the 14 August earthquake, more than 900 aftershocks have been registered; of these, 400 have had a magnitude of 3 or more. This includes a 4.85 magnitude aftershock on 18 August that provoked the collapse of already damaged structures. Following the rapid assessment done by the Haitian departmental health directorates, with PAHO/ WHO support, a total of 88 health centres have been identified as severely damaged (28) and slightly damaged (60).3 According to a satellite assessment by the World Bank, quoted by the DGPC, the country has approximately 1.5 billion US dollars (or 10 per cent of Haiti’s gross domestic product) in economic damage and losses.

Independent of the wide range of figures, the humanitarian needs continue increasing and do not indicate signs of abating. The REACH resource centre assessment conducted with ACTED reports 14,790 displaced people in Camp-Perrin, Cavaillon, L'Asile, Maniche and Peste communes. This population is distributed in 87 different sites, of which 30 have more than 100 people. This figure is substantially higher than the IOM Displacement Tracking Matrix for Haiti, which reports 1,644 people (602 families) displaced due to the earthquake; of these 489 families (1,256 people) are in Sud department and 113 families (388 people) in Grand ‘Anse department. The internally displaced population in the two departments is located in 24 evacuation centres (22 in Sud and 2 in Grand ‘Anse) and 12 regrouping centres (9 in Sud and 3 in Grand ‘Anse). The DTM does not report displacement figures for Nippes.

The risk of hurricanes and tropical storms remains latent in Haiti. Atlantic hurricane season spans from 1 June to 30 November has and its peak months between August and October.

The Government of Haiti solicited support for food, health, shelter, and water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) needs for the affected population in Sud, Nippes, and Grand ‘Anse departments. On 15 August, the Office of the Prime Minister provided a list of requested goods, later further detailed by the Ministry of Public Health and Population (MSSP), ordered from the international community. The DGPC concluded its first phase of emergency response actions on 3 September. This report estimated the affected population as over 690,000 people and informs that the search and rescue activities ended, and actions are shifting to recovery.

This emergency response operation is being implemented amidst a sensitive and volatile security context. While there was a respite from blocked roads by non-State armed actors and a decrease in the looting of goods in transit to the most affected areas, reports indicate a new upturn of security incidents. This situation continues to challenge the Red Cross to remain efficient and effective.

Multiples tremors and heavy rainfall occurred after the earthquake. During late January and early February 2022, heavy rainfalls hit several departments of the country notably the North, the Northeast and the Nippes departments. This situation is caused by the cold front extending from the North Atlantic to Nicaragua and crossing the island of Haiti. According to Directorate General of Civil Protection (DGPC), at least 20 municipalities were affected by floods caused by the waters of runoff and floods from some rivers. Consequently, 2,578 houses flooded and 3 destroyed, leaving nearly 10,750 people (2,500 families) in need of temporary shelter (disaster families) as well as food, NFIs, and drinking water. Furthermore, damage to road infrastructure has hampered humanitarian access.

Haitians continue to face adversity, and many are leaving the country daily despite the ongoing deportations from neighbouring Dominican Republic and the United States. As stated by Human Rights Watch, 49 people were interviewed during a visit to Haiti in December 2021(including Haitians expelled from the US and the Dominican Republic, representatives of UN agencies, civil society members; and Haitian justice and executive branch officials). This article refers to the multiple complexities Haitians are still facing and the imminent situation surrounding the deportations: “From 1 January 2021 through February 26, 2022, 25,765 people were expelled or deported to Haiti, data collected by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) show. Of those, the US returned 79 percent (20,309 people) while The Bahamas, Cuba, Turks and Caicos Islands, Mexico, and other countries returned the rest.”

According to the ACAPS complex crisis update from 16 February 2022, “reporting indicates SGBV including rape has been used in recent months to intimidate and control local populations, mainly affecting children, adolescents, and women. Survivors have been reporting SGBV in conjunction with other forms of violence such as kidnapping.

SGBV is often invisible and underreported, due to shame, stigmatization, fear of reprisals, and mobility restrictions for survivors. Recent data is unavailable; however, from 2017 to 2021 at least 7,000 people, half of them under the age of 18, presented for SGBV treatment in health clinics. Insecurity and targeted threats against humanitarian workers have limited the provision of the specialized mental and physical health services that SGBV survivors need.”

The HRCS, the IFRC and Red Cross partners in Haiti, as well as other humanitarian actors continue to support the response to the effects of the August 2021 Earthquake whenever necessary. The IFRC GO page for the Haiti: Earthquake contains information from the field, as well as informative materials and documents regarding the Haiti Red Cross Society-led response operation.