Two years after a powerful earthquake devastated Haiti, significant progress has been made, particularly over the past year. There is much left to do, and the success of Haiti’s recovery will ultimately be up to the Haitians themselves. The United States Government (USG) and its international partners are working closely with the Government of Haiti (GOH) to improve conditions for people throughout the country and create prospects for a better future.
The earthquake that shook Haiti on January 12, 2010, was the worst natural disaster in the history of the Western Hemisphere. Hundreds of thousands of Haitians were killed or injured; an estimated 1.5 million people were left homeless or displaced; and more than 300,000 buildings, including many schools, hospitals, and government offices, were destroyed or severely damaged. The human cost was staggering, and material losses totaled 120 percent of Haiti’s 2009 Gross Domestic Product. In the days, weeks and months following, the United States and others launched the largest international humanitarian response ever undertaken. In the course of the year, as the most immediate crisis needs were met, the balance of assistance shifted increasingly to reconstruction and development. The report Haiti: One Year Later, which can be found at www.state.gov/s/hsc/rls/154255.htm, details the results of those efforts as of January 2011. This document highlights developments since the earthquake, with a focus on the past 12 months.