Haiti – Earthquake Fact Sheet #6, August 22, FY2021

Speeches Shim

August 22, 2021 

Numbers At A Glance


Earthquake-related Deaths Reported in Haiti


Estimated Number of Earthquake-related Injuries in Haiti


Number of People Missing as a Result of the Earthquake


Estimated Number of Houses Damaged or Destroyed

2.2 million

People Exposed to Strong—MMI Level VI—or Above Shaking


DART Leader Tim Callaghan, JTF-Haiti Commander Rear Admiral Keith Davids, and GoH DGPC Director Jerry Chandler visit affected areas in Grand’Anse and Sud.

USAID DART and USAR members continue assessment and response activities in Grand’Anse’s Dame Marie commune.

JTF-Haiti—including the USCG—conducts 170 missions, performing nearly 320 medical evacuations and transporting nearly 80,000 pounds of relief commodities to affected areas.

WFP delivers 100 MT of USAID/BHA-funded food assistance—sufficient to meet the monthly food needs of approximately 7,550 people—from Port-au-Prince to Les Cayes.

Earthquake Deaths Rise to More Than 2,200 as DART Members Continue Assessments, Response Efforts

The August 14 earthquake in Haiti had resulted in at least 2,207 deaths, injury to more than 12,260 people, and damage to or the destruction of nearly 130,000 houses, with at least 344 people missing, as of August 22, according to the Government of Haiti (GoH). In response, relief actors—including USAID Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) members—continue to conduct assessment and response activities across southwestern Haiti to determine priority needs in coordination with the GoH Civil Protection General Directorate (DGPC).

On August 21, USAID DART Lead Tim Callaghan, Joint Task Force (JTF)-Haiti Commander Rear Admiral Keith Davids, and GoH DGPC Director Jerry Chandler travelled via U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) helicopter to visit Grand’Anse Department’s Pestel commune and Sud Department’s Les Anglais and Maniche communes. During the visit, DART Lead Callaghan identified food, shelter materials, and safe drinking water as priority needs for earthquake-affected households in the three communes, as well as health care services and medical commodities in Les Anglais. In addition, the officials noted continued humanitarian access challenges to affected areas as a result of damaged infrastructure and insecurity along some land routes, underscored by the continued blockage of the main bridge into Grand’Anse’s Jérémie city due to damage.

DART and USAR Personnel Assess Structures and Humanitarian Needs in Dame Marie

DART members, including Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department urban search-and-rescue (USAR) personnel, continue to conduct humanitarian needs and structural assessments in earthquake-affected communities. On August 21, a DART assessment team—comprising USAID Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance (USAID/BHA) disaster experts and USAR personnel—visited Grand’Anse’s Dame Marie commune and conducted structural assessments of a church and a hospital, determining that health care staff were safe to resume operations in the hospital and that a section of the church was unsafe to enter. Prior to the assessments, medical staff were treating patients outside of the hospital due to concerns of structural collapse. Furthermore, following consultations with community members and organizations, DART members determined that town residents required humanitarian protection and psychosocial support (PSS) services, including specialized services to prevent and respond to incidents of gender-based violence (GBV). Community organizations also reported that many residents are sheltering outdoors in the wake of the earthquake due to fear of structural collapse resulting from aftershocks, exacerbating protection risks and other humanitarian needs.

JTF-Haiti Continues Support for DART-Led Relief Operations

In coordination with the DART, JTF-Haiti continues to support relief efforts in response to the earthquake, including by transporting DART and other humanitarian personnel and emergency relief commodities from Haiti’s capital city of Port-au-Prince to affected areas. As of the morning of August 21, JTF-Haiti—including the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG)—had conducted 170 missions, performing 319 medical evacuations and delivering nearly 80,000 pounds of humanitarian supplies to affected areas. Subsequently, on August 21, JTF-Haiti facilitated the DART’s assessment of Dame Marie; supported a non-governmental organization (NGO) to transfer medical commodities, personal protective equipment, and generators to Sud’s Les Cayes commune; and supported two NGOs to transport water purification systems and water storage containers to Les Cayes and Ouest Department’s Gonave Island, respectively. In addition, the USS Arlington arrived off the coast of Haiti on August 21 to commence support for ongoing DART and JTF-Haiti operations. The ship has approximately 600 members of the U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps aboard, as well as two MH-60 Seahawk helicopters, a landing craft, and a fleet surgical team to bolster response efforts. Furthermore, the Puerto Rico Army National Guard has also deployed two helicopters to Haiti, bringing the total number of DoD helicopters in the country assisting DART response efforts to 12.

USAID/BHA Partner WFP Delivers 100 MT of Food Assistance to Les Cayes

USAID/BHA partner the UN World Food Program (WFP) continues to deliver life-saving emergency food assistance to earthquake-affected communities despite challenges posed by infrastructure damage and continued insecurity. On August 20 and 21, WFP delivered an additional 100 metric tons (MT) of USAID/BHA-funded contingency food commodities—sufficient to meet the monthly food needs of approximately 7,550 people—from Port-au-Prince to Les Cayes for onward distribution in the coming days. The DART continues to coordinate with WFP to assess emergency food needs and facilitate the delivery of food assistance to populations in need. Meanwhile, the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) imported 9.7 MT of health; nutrition; and water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) commodities—sufficient to meet related needs of more than 23,300 households for three months—to Port-au-Prince for onward distribution on August 20 with other donor support.

UNFPA Notes Increased Protection Risks Following Earthquake

Populations in southwestern Haiti are facing elevated protection risks following the August 14 earthquake, which has exacerbated vulnerabilities to sexual exploitation and abuse while disrupting local protection referral systems and services, according to the UN Population Fund (UNFPA). Prior to the earthquake, UNFPA reports that incidents of GBV were increasing countrywide, and the UN agency was working closely with the GoH to provide support services for adolescent GBV survivors. Subsequently, protection risks facing vulnerable individuals have further increased, particularly for women, girls, and children who have been separated from their guardians either prior to or following the earthquake. Moreover, many individuals continue to shelter outdoors due to concerns of structural collapse, often carrying out hygiene and other activities without privacy or security and, thus, increasing their exposure to protection risks. In response, USAID/BHA and UNFPA have urged relief actors to implement critical protection inventions across affected areas, as well as integrate protection principles to promote meaningful access, dignity, and safety of beneficiaries across other response activities. In addition, UNFPA is working with the GoH to activate and scale up activities of departmental GBV coordination systems, as well as existing case management and PSS services, in southwestern Haiti.


Following the earthquake, the GoH requested international assistance for USAR support. A USAR team from Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department, including 65 search-and-rescue personnel and four canines, subsequently deployed alongside DART members, arriving in Haiti on August 15. The USAR team traveled with 52,000 pounds of specialized tools and medical equipment. Additional USAR supplies arrived in Haiti on August 17.

USAID/BHA USAR teams consist of 19 functional positions, staffed by experienced emergency managers, construction riggers, hazardous materials technicians, licensed engineers and emergency medicine physicians, logisticians, paramedics, planners, search-and-rescue specialists, and search-and-rescue dogs with handlers. USAR teams perform life-saving technical activities, including specialized search-and-rescue operations to recover individuals trapped in damaged or destroyed buildings.

Sites reached or assessed by DART USAR experts include Grand’Anse’s Corail, Dame Marie, Jérémie, and Pestel communes; Nippes’s Petit-Trou-de-Nippes commune; and Sud’s Camp-Perrin, Les Cayes, Maniche, and Saint-Louis-du-Sud communes as of August 21. USAR activities in other affected areas remain ongoing.

On August 14, the GoH declared a one-month state of emergency in Haiti due to the earthquake and activated DGPC personnel, mobilizing search-and-rescue brigades to earthquake-affected areas. The GoH also activated the National Emergency Operations Center to coordinate assessment and response activities.

Several governments across the Latin America and Caribbean region mobilized personnel and supplies to support USAR operations. In addition, on August 17, ISAR Germany and BRH Bundesverband Rettungshunde deployed a five-member team—including experts in disaster assistance, field medicine, and USAR—to Haiti to support and advise GoH authorities. On August 20, 39 additional doctors and volunteers from ISAR Germany arrived in Haiti.


On August 16, two USCG helicopters deployed to Haiti and began transporting DART and USAR personnel to assist assessment and response activities. In addition, USAID requested the unique capabilities of DoD’s U.S. Southern Command (USSOUTHCOM) to support USAID’s response efforts with air transport of relief commodities, staff, and USAR team members within Haiti, as well as assessment efforts in earthquake-affected areas. USSOUTHCOM deployed eight helicopters, including three UH-60 Black Hawks, three CH-47 Chinooks, and two HH-60 Pave Hawks. Furthermore, the USS Arlington, carrying two MH-60 Seahawk helicopters and approximately 600 members of the U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps, arrived off the coast of Haiti on August 21 to assist with ongoing relief efforts. USSOUTHCOM is also providing aerial imagery to support damage assessments, while the Puerto Rico Army National Guard has also deployed two helicopters to Haiti to support JTF-Haiti’s mission.

In addition, USAID/BHA is supporting a WFP barge service to facilitate additional humanitarian transport between Port-au-Prince and coastal areas of Grand’Anse and Nippes, as well as the operation of WFP-led convoys from Port-au-Prince to affected areas.

On August 14, in response to a GoH request, the Government of the Dominican Republic (GoDR) provided a fixed-wing aircraft and two helicopters to support logistics and transportation efforts, including medical evacuations. Furthermore, the Government of the United Kingdom has deployed the UK Royal Fleet Auxiliary Wave Knight off the coast of Haiti to support response efforts.


USAID/BHA is providing logistics support in heavily-affected communities in Grand’Anse, Nippes, and Sud. In addition, five members of the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department have deployed as part of the Americas Support Team (AST) to provide technical support to UN Disaster Assessment and Coordination (UNDAC) personnel, assisting with humanitarian coordination, information management, and assessment (HCIMA) efforts. The AST is a module supported through USAID/BHA to assist with disaster response operations and coordination efforts between the UN, local emergency management agencies, and other relief actors, including donor governments and non-governmental organizations. As of August 21, the AST is supporting a 10-member UNDAC team in facilitating coordination and information management in concert with the GoH DGPC and the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

In addition, the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency activated its Regional Response Mechanism and is deploying a Caribbean Community Operational Support Team to provide coordination and operational support to the GoH.


USAID/BHA funds the International Organization for Migration (IOM) to maintain pre-positioned emergency relief supplies—sufficient to support nearly 50,000 individuals—in Haiti for distribution in response to sudden-onset disasters, such as earthquakes and other shocks. On August 17, IOM distributed 2,000 hygiene kits, 2,000 jerry cans, 2,000 plastic sheets, and 2,000 shelter repair kits to affected populations in Les Cayes and across Nippes with USAID/BHA support. Subsequently, on August 18, four trucks carrying USAID/BHA-funded relief supplies—including 3,000 hygiene kits, 2,500 blankets, 500 plastic sheets, and 400 shelter repair kits—departed Port-au-Prince for Les Cayes to restock IOM’s warehouse in the town to meet additional needs. Separately, a USAID/BHA-funded Global WASH Sector Field Support Team Coordinator arrived in Haiti on August 19 to support coordination of the WASH response through national-level platforms, and USAID/BHA has also activated a DART shelter advisor to support the provision of shelter assistance in affected areas.

Regional governments are mobilizing shipments of relief commodities to support response efforts in Haiti. On August 16, the Government of Chile dispatched a flight to Haiti carrying 16 MT of food commodities and medical and WASH supplies. Additionally, the Government of Mexico dispatched two military aircraft carrying 60 personnel with specialized USAR and medical skills, in addition to approximately 20 MT of relief commodities, including medical supplies, food assistance, and USAR equipment.

The UN allocated $8 million from the UN Central Emergency Response Fund on August 15 to support the provision of relief items and health care services, safe drinking water, shelter items, and WASH assistance to affected households. The European Commission's Department for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations and the Government of the Republic of Korea have also announced nearly $3.5 and $1 million in emergency funding, respectively, to help address immediate needs.


As of August 18, USAID/BHA had released 110 MT of food—including beans, rice, and vegetable oil—from its contingency stock managed by WFP to distribute hot meals to people at hospitals in Jérémie and Les Cayes. WFP will continue to provide daily hot meals to the several thousand people injured by the earthquake during their hospitalization. Moreover, WFP plans to provide ready-to-eat meals to individuals in emergency evacuation shelters, among other interventions. WFP plans to further scale up food assistance operations to reach an additional 62,000 people in affected areas in the coming months, bringing the UN agency’s target caseload in southwestern Haiti to approximately 200,000 people.


On August 15, the USCG deployed two helicopters with medical staff and supplies to Haiti. Alongside supporting USAR and logistics efforts, the helicopters also transported injured patients from affected areas to Port-au-Prince. As of August 21, the USCG had flown more than 170 sorties, performed medical evacuations for 315 people, and transported nearly 290 relief personnel—including members of the DART—and 9,500 pounds of emergency relief supplies to affected areas.

The GoH Ministry of Public Health and Population activated an emergency health crisis cell to coordinate information on needs and response efforts with health partners, according to the UN. In addition, specialized medical personnel deployed with supplies to treat trauma and orthopedic needs among earthquake-affected populations.

The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) country office in Haiti has activated its emergency plan, while PAHO and the UN World Health Organization (WHO) declared an emergency for Haiti and neighboring Dominican Republic for the duration of 2021. PAHO and WHO are coordinating with the GoH DGPC, local authorities and health officials, and other UN agencies. In addition, the GoDR is delivering medical supplies and non-food items. Meanwhile, the Red Cross and hospitals in unaffected areas are providing surge assistance, while Médecins Sans Frontières has deployed teams to Grand’Anse and Sud.

The most effective way people can assist relief efforts is by making cash contributions to humanitarian organizations that are conducting relief operations. A list of humanitarian organizations that are accepting cash donations for disaster responses around the world can be found at www.interaction.org.

USAID encourages cash donations because they allow aid professionals to procure the exact items needed (often in the affected region); reduce the burden on scarce resources (such as transportation routes, staff time, and warehouse space); can be transferred very quickly and without transportation costs; support the economy of the disaster-stricken region; and ensure culturally, dietarily, and environmentally appropriate assistance.

More information can be found at:

  • USAID Center for International Disaster Information: www.cidi.org or +1.202.661.7710.
  • Information on relief activities of the humanitarian community can be found at www.reliefweb.int.

Last updated: August 24, 2021

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