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Haiti earthquake third anniversary

11 January 2013


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Penny Sims 020 7877 7044 /
On call mobile: 0771 0391703

Haiti earthquake third anniversary: British Red Cross community-led project rebuilds neighbourhood from the rubble

Three years on from Haiti’s devastating earthquake, the British Red Cross has been helping to rebuild the neighbourhood of Delmas 19, Port au Prince, in a community-led project.

Haiti’s earthquake of 12 January 2010 killed more than 230,000 people and left 2 million homeless. The Red Cross Red Crescent launched their biggest single country response in the immediate aftermath, sending 21 emergency teams to provide food, water, shelter and health support.

After the emergency phase, the British Red Cross concentrated recovery efforts on two camps, housing over 60,000 displaced people in the devastated capital. It also provided livelihoods support in Port-au-Prince and the South Department, where around 120,000 people who’d lost everything in the quake moved to and were struggling to get back on their feet. These projects, which helped 97,000 people, were completed in June 2012. Overall, the British Red Cross has provided support to 340,000 people after the earthquake.

In July 2012, the British Red Cross began a second phase of recovery work focusing on one neighbourhood in Port au Prince, with an aim to provide more in-depth support, from rebuilding basic infrastructure to getting children into school, and increasing small businesses.

John English, recovery operations manager, said:
“The scale of the disaster in Haiti meant that we had to rethink our approach. Everything was needed, from basic infrastructure, to water, to health, housing and restarting the local economy. Given the challenges for the community in Delmas 19, an area that was badly affected by the earthquake, we decided to do something about all these interlinked problems.”

“Every step of the way the community is consulted and involved in making decisions about the work. Their priorities were improving basic infrastructure, as well as people’s homes and businesses. We knew this way we could make a real, lasting difference to over 4,000 people.”

The programme began with the rebuilding of a drainage canal, which previously had caused homes to be flooded with sewage during bad weather. The canal was dammed off and rebuilt, facing its first test just one month later when Tropical Storm Issac swept through in August. The rebuilt canal meant for the first time, homes in Delmas 19 were not swamped with sewage and filthy water during a storm.

The British Red Cross has also provided families with cash grants to pay school fees, rents and start small businesses. The rebuilding of Delmas 19, which includes water points and basic sanitation, will also incorporate a children’s play area and market place. In addition, three kinds of housing support have been provided to the neighbourhood: help with rent, repairs, or reconstruction.

The project has attracted praise from local people and other agencies, who have been studying the progress with a view to replicating the integrated programme in other areas.

Haiti earthquake facts & figures:

• Earthquake of 12 January 2010 killed more than 230,000 people and left 2 million homeless
• British Red Cross Haiti earthquake appeal raised £23 million (with contributions from DEC appeal)

Across the Red Cross Red Crescent movement:

• 226,030 households (over 1.1m people) received emergency aid.
• 195,160 households (975,8000 people) received food assistance.

Stats for the British Red Cross response in Haiti:

• Over 340,000 people reached with information on how to prevent and treat cholera
• 6,647 school fees paid for displaced children for one school year and 4,000 uniforms
• 10,502 families given cash grants to help them get back on their feet and develop income generating activities
• 3,081 households benefitted from daily wages while working on infrastructure project in the South Department
• 900 families living in makeshift shelters in Automeca camp given support for rehousing
• 300 metres of canal repaired
• Over 4000 families to benefit from the Delmas 19 British Red Cross project, bringing basic sanitation, infrastructure, cash grants, shelter and livelihoods support to the neighbourhood.




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Notes to editors

UK contacts

• John English, British Red Cross recovery manager (contact  via Penny Sims 020 7877 7044 / 077103 917 03

Haiti contacts

• In Haiti - France Hurtubise, communications coordinator, Haiti, IFRC

Tél : +509 3170 9813
Skype : Hurtu09

On Tuesday 12 January 2010, an earthquake measuring 7 on the Richter scale struck Haiti. Its impact was devastating. 2 million people were left homeless, and around 230,000 people are thought to have died. Huge swathes of the capital, Port-au-Prince, were reduced to rubble. Leogane, the site of the epicentre, suffered 80-90% destruction. Hospitals, schools and 27 out of 28 Haitian government buildings were also destroyed.

The disaster prompted the biggest single country response in the history of the Red Cross Red Crescent Movement. Immediately after the earthquake, the Haitian Red Cross distributed emergency aid and set up first aid posts, despite having lost members and suffered damage themselves. The emergency response concentrated on providing basic aid items, healthcare, sanitation, food, safe water and shelter materials, as well as psychological support.

Haiti earthquake in numbers

> The earthquake of 2010 left 2 million homeless and around  230,000 dead
> Some areas experienced 70-90% destruction. 27 out of 28 Haitian Government buildings were destroyed
> The British Red Cross Haiti earthquake appeal raised £23m (including contributions from DEC and DFID)
> Globally, the Red Cross Red Crescent raised £811m
> Over 600 Red Cross and Red Crescent workers from at least 30 countries were deployed
> 21 specialist emergency response units (ERUs) were deployed from around the world immediately after the disaster
> 124 Red Cross Red Crescent national societies have supported the Haiti operation with money or expertise
> 1.13 million people received basic aid items from Red Cross Red Crescent Movement
> 68,953 households (covering approx 344,000 people) have received livelihoods support grants or loans
> 317,480 people provided with daily access to drinking water at peak of emergency operation
> 230,000 patients treated in Red Cross Red Crescent healthcare facilities
> 37 cholera treatment centres set up in response to cholera outbreak of Oct 2010
> 1.2 million people reached with SMS/text messages, giving info on cholera, malaria, inoculations, and other help
> £4.7m has also been invested in disaster preparedness and risk reduction, to prepare for future emergencies

The British Red Cross helps people in crisis, whoever and wherever they are. We are part of a global voluntary network, responding to conflicts, natural disasters and individual emergencies. We enable vulnerable people in the UK and abroad to prepare for and withstand emergencies  in their own communities. And when the crisis is over, we help them to recover and move on  with their lives.