Haiti 2 years on – A summary
On 12 January, we mark the second anniversary of the devastating earthquake that hit Haiti in the early days of 2010.
The Haiti earthquake was the world’s second biggest earthquake disaster since the year 1900.
In Ireland, Haiti Week will take place on 21 – 28 January. The aim of the Week is “to raise awareness of Haiti through art, music and the business community, and to celebrate a special island that is bravely struggling to meet a range of challenges.” (RTE news on the launch of Haiti Week)
The reconstruction of the country is still very slow:
- “Two years on and Haiti’s reconstruction proceeds at a snail’s pace”, said Oxfam Ireland earlier this week. The NGO published a report, ‘Haiti: The Slow Road to Reconstruction’ in which it called on the Government of Haiti to implement a reconstruction plan to rebuild the country and rehouse the approximately 520,000 people still living under tarpaulins or in tents.
- “Hope on Hold in Haiti” reported the Sunday Business Post on 8 January, pointing out that it took Kobe 7 years to recover from the 1995 earthquake.
- Only 21% of the aid originally pledged was actually disbursed. Donors simply moved on, after the media attention died down.
- This article in the Irish Times outlines the challenges and calls for greater Government leadership in the reconstruction.
- A Film At Eleven documentary claimed that the people who the relief money was supposed to help, were almost entirely excluded from the planning process.
- Out of 1500 US contracts given out in the first year since the earthquake, only 20 went to Haitian-owned companies, said Associated Press.
- Half a million persons are homeless in Port-au-Prince, 50 percent of the total population has no access to clean water, and 80 percent has no sanitation facilities, said MSF.
- Almost half of all Haitian children do not attend primary school, while only 18 per cent of boys and 21 per cent of girls attend secondary school.
- This article in the Kansas City Star neatly sums up the challenges that aid agencies faced, and the perceptions their response created.
- The recovery effort is ‘underfunded’ said this article in The Corkman, quoting a report by Save The Children.
- In TheJournal.ie, Tom Arnold, CEO of Concern, reflects on the slow progress in Haiti.
- This article by Plan Ireland also reflects on the Successes, Challenges and Priorities.
- An article in Thejournal.ie reports that Half a million people still living in camps in Haiti.
But there are also many positives:
- Nearly half of all earthquake rubble has been removed, accounting for 5 million cubic metres of debris (significantly faster than the rate of removal in other humanitarian crises in areas not as complex as urban Port-au-Prince), said Oxfam Ireland. (see also this slideshow)
- “Haiti rebuilds from ruins despite world aid shortfall” wrote Haven Partnership’s CEO, Anne Maguire, in the Irish Independent. She also pointed out that more children are in school now than was the case before the earthquake.
- There has been significant progress in the provision of shelter, with two-thirds of people that needed it having been rehoused.
- 87% of schools were damaged by the earthquake. Concern re-built 33 schools in the past year. And Plan Ireland has built 257 semi permanent classrooms in Jacmel and Croix-des-Bouquets.
- See this video of how Trócaire responded to the emergency.
- Habitat for Humanity served some 40,000 families through their house building activities.
- Since the devestating earthquake in Haiti 2 years ago World Vision has provided 14,000 people with secure homes.
- “I’m no expert, but it’s clear that the money already donated is changing thousands of lives for the better” says the author of this article in Hot Press.
- UNFPA installed 200 durable solar streetlights in camps for displaced people to help combat sexual violence
- Haiti still needs humanitarian aid, said the UN, although 300,000 temporary jobs have been created since the earthquake. See also these photos
- Almost two-thirds of the estimated 1.5 million Haitians living in tent shelters after the January 2010 earthquake have left, according to the US State Department. (Not an easy job, as this UN article shows).
- In 2011, Haitians went to the polls and elected a new President – the first democratic transfer of power from one democratically elected government leader to a member of the opposition. (and this ActionAid article shows that grass roots democracy is alive and well).
- Ireland pledged €13 million, and gave some €11.5 million. (Click here for a detailed breakdown)
- Ireland’s Response to Haiti Earthquake – Facts, Figures and Challenges (after 12 months)
- New York Times article about Denis O’Brien and Digicel
- This BBC article provides an overview of how DEC members have addressed the emergency
Entry filed under: NGOs, Overseas aid. Tags: Aid, Disaster, Earthquake, Education, Effectiveness, Emergencies, Emergency Aid, Haiti, Haiti Earthquake, Haitian, Housing, Impact, Ireland, Irish Aid, Irish NGOs, Jobs, MDGs, Media, Millennium Development Goals, NGOs, Overseas aid, Quake, Reconstruction, Relief, Shelter, Smart Aid, tents.