accessibility & help

One year on, recovery gives Haiti hope for the future

10 January 2010

Group of smiling children Twelve months on from the tragic earthquake which devastated Haiti, people are still rebuilding their lives – but there’s hope for the future.

The earthquake on 12 January 2010 was the worst to strike the country in 200 years. It killed more than 200,000 people (around 1.9 per cent of Haiti’s population) and displaced around 1.3 million people.

The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement’s response to this disaster is its largest ever response in a single country, focussing on healthcare, relief items, shelter and water and sanitation.

Over the last year, the Red Cross has:

  • distributed more than a million relief items

  • produced and distributed 2.5 million litres of water on a daily basis

  • treated 216,900 people in Red Cross healthcare facilities

  • provided 288,240 people with health services in their communities

  • provided sanitation facilities, such as latrines, to 265,400 people

  • given emergency shelter materials, such as tools and tarpaulins, to 172,700 households

  • given financial support, such as loans and grants, to 48,725 households

  • paid school fees and related expenses for 6,798 children

  • reached 1.2 million people with text messages giving them information on disaster preparedness and cholera prevention

  • begun to provide families with improved shelter, such as transitional shelters.

These figures apply to the entire International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement. Red Cross personnel from 125 countries, including the UK, have been involved in the earthquake response over the last year.

British Red Cross response


Women collecting water in Haiti British Red Cross teams sent to Haiti in 2010 included experts in logistics and mass sanitation. The British Red Cross is now mainly working on sanitation and livelihoods in four locations: Automeca and La Piste camps and the Delmas 19 area of Port-au-Prince – the Haitian capital – and the Les Cayes region, which many people fled to after the earthquake.  

Many people are still living in sprawling camps and remain extremely vulnerable, so this represents the first year of a long-term programme of relief and recovery.

Earthquake impact

“It is virtually impossible to overstate the impact of the quake,” said Alastair Burnett, British Red Cross recovery manager.

“The numbers of people killed is hard to even imagine, but there are millions more who survived but were robbed of their homes, jobs and livelihoods as well as their loved ones.

“Recovering from such a huge disaster will take years. Twelve months on is still just the beginning of that journey, but there are real positives which must not be overlooked.

“What we’ve achieved has only been possible with the generosity of our supporters. Without their help, there would be no hope at all for Haiti.”

Over this week, we will be publishing a series of blog posts exploring some of the key challenges still facing Haiti: shelter, water and sanitation, livelihoods and health.

Read stories from people in Haiti

Read the one-year report [pdf] from the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies


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