Haiti earthquake: Two years later everyday Haitians lead the rebuilding

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It has been 2 years since a devastating earthquake shook the Haiti capital of Port-au-Prince and claimed a reported 230,000 lives. Although the cameras have long gone, the work of Catholic Relief Services and our Haitian Church partners has continued.

This earthquake response is the most complex disaster CRS has ever faced. Challenges range from how to clear huge amounts of rubble, to confusion about who has title to land, to a government reeling from its toppled ministries, to the reality that Haiti was a country in crisis well before disaster struck.

Experience shows us that this kind of undertaking calls for a genuine rebuilding of Haiti—one that will happen only if Haitians take charge of their own recovery. And no one wants this more than the Haitian people.

The country is showing signs of real recovery. The nearly 1,300 camps that spontaneously formed across the city have declined in population by almost two-thirds from their peak of 1.5 million. Still, the families remaining in the camps are considered to be among Haiti’s most vulnerable; many have no other place to call home.

Our Response at a Glance

Thanks to your support, in the 2 years since the January 2010 earthquake, Catholic Relief Services has:

  • Built 10,600 transitional shelters
  • Provided 10 million meals to more than 1 million people
  • Organized medical teams that performed more than 1,000 emergency surgeries and conducted 71,000 outpatient consultations
  • Helped workers crush enough rubble to fill almost 1,800 dump trucks
  • Hired more than 12,000 people in temporary cash-for-work programs