Two years ago Haiti experienced the worst natural disaster in its history. Hospitals and schools collapsed, bridges fell and homes crumbled.
As the dust began to settle, international organizations like CARE provided life-saving food, water, medical care and shelter. Within weeks it became evident that this disaster was not only massive but incredibly complex.
With severe vulnerabilities plaguing the country prior to the quake – including extreme poverty, poor infrastructure, and unsafe building standards – the results of the earthquake were catastrophic, and the response incredibly challenging.
As 2010 progressed and new risks emerged, CARE remained in life-saving mode. Hurricane Tomas brought flooding and high winds.
Housing reconstruction progressed slowly due to land and property issues and excessive rubble. As the year drew to a close, the first cases of cholera appeared and spread countrywide. CARE quickly and efficiently shifted its resources to address these new emergencies and challenges.
CARE’s life-saving efforts continued into 2011, but work also began on longer-term, sustainable solutions. More than 2,500 transitional shelters were built, allowing thousands to move out of make-shift camps. More than 1,600 latrines were constructed and rehabilitated. Nearly two million people were reached with cholera prevention and hygiene messaging. CARE also began training community members, health workers and mothers on reproductive health, and prevention and counseling related to sexual and gender-based violence.
As we move into 2012, CARE is empowering women and their families to move beyond survival, and build thriving communities. The road ahead will not be short – building back sustainably takes time. But thanks to the support of our donors, CARE will be there for women, girls, boys and men affected by the earthquake in Haiti.