The Haiti earthquake: 10 years later

A decade after the catastrophic earthquake, UNICEF and partners are still helping Haiti along the road of recovery.

By Christine Nesbitt and Jason Miks
UNICEF/UNI79234/Noorani
UNICEF/UNI79234/Noorani

10 January 2020

2020欧洲杯分组赛程When Haitians started their day on 12 January ten years ago, they could not have imagined the devastation that was about to befall their country. Later that day, a 7.0 magnitude earthquake struck, claiming the lives of more than 220,000 people. The quake – one of the deadliest natural disasters on record – destroyed much of the country’s fragile infrastructure and left many Haitians in dire need of assistance.

2020欧洲杯分组赛程UNICEF mobilized quickly, providing urgent support to children, women and families, many of whom were without shelter, water, food and other basic necessities. The priority was to save lives.

2020欧洲杯分组赛程But a decade later, Haiti continues to face multiple crises. Worsening food insecurity and malnutrition, water-borne disease epidemics and high vulnerability to natural disasters have placed added pressure on women and children. UNICEF is committed to the children of Haiti, working with the government and other partners to reach vulnerable children – giving them the support they need to recover and helping them along the path to a better future.

 

(Above) February 2010: 2020欧洲杯分组赛程A girl looks out from between the tarpaulin sheeting of the tent where she is living, in a displaced camp in the capital Port-au-Prince.  Three million people – almost a third of the population – were directly or indirectly affected by the 2010 earthquake.

UNICEF/UNI78738/Noorani
UNICEF/UNI78738/Noorani

February 2010: Nuns from an orphanage are pictured unpacking a box of care packages for children in Port-au-Prince. Working together with national and international partners, UNICEF’s first priority after the earthquake hit was to save lives, including by providing clean water and sanitation, food, shelter, medical assistance, and also supporting children who were separated from their families. 

 

UNICEF/UNI87990/LeMoyne
UNICEF/UNI87990/LeMoyne

April 2010: People are pictured buying and selling goods in a bustling market area set up in front of badly damaged buildings in the downtown area of Port-au-Prince. The earthquake’s epicenter was only 17 kilometres from Port-au-Prince. The result was destruction on a massive scale – 300,000 homes were damaged or destroyed, displacing around 1.6 million people.

 

UNICEF/UNI99333/Dormino
UNICEF/UNI99333/Dormino

November 2010: A girl who has contracted cholera lies on a cot at the hospital in Gonaives, a commune in northern Haiti and the capital of the Artibonite Region. Today, Haiti continues to face multiple crises, including worsening food security, malnutrition, water-borne disease epidemics and high vulnerability to natural disasters.

 

UNICEF/UNI100300/LeMoyne
UNICEF/UNI100300/LeMoyne

December 2010: Children carry jugs of water at a camp for earthquake victims in the Delmas District of Port-au-Prince. During the first five months of the emergency response, UNICEF supported a water trucking operation that delivered clean water to about 680,000 people per day.

 

UNICEF/UNI121142/Dormino
UNICEF/UNI121142/Dormino

July 2011: Students play outside the Mamalu Kindergarten and Primary School in Port-au-Prince. The school, which collapsed during the earthquake, was rebuilt by UNICEF into a semi-permanent facility.

 

UNICEF/UN054118/Bradley
UNICEF/UN054118/Bradley

November 2016: 2020欧洲杯分组赛程A member of a UNICEF-supported cholera rapid response team uses a pressure sprayer containing a chlorine solution to disinfect areas potentially contaminated by cholera bacteria in Jacmel, Haiti. It will take three years of no laboratory-confirmed cholera cases before the epidemic in Haiti can be fully declared over, but no cases have been confirmed since 4 February 2019.

 

UNICEF/UN0269531/Jean AFP-Services
UNICEF/UN0269531/Jean AFP-Services

January 2019: A baby girl is weighed shortly after being born. The shadow of worsening food insecurity, malnutrition and economic fragility continues to loom over these young lives in Haiti. “I pray first of all for her to be healthy,” says her mother, Sara Cléomène.

UNICEF/UNI266153/Belvèze
UNICEF/UNI266153/Belvèze

August 2019: 2020欧洲杯分组赛程Guino Sylvain (left) and Micherline Jean-Pierre attend a parenting club offering information and advice on preventing diseases resulting from malnutrition. There’s no better investment a country can make than in its children. Healthy children do better in school – and are far better placed to help build a better future.