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Earthquake Overview

In the aftermath of the January 2010 earthquake in Haiti, USAID has provided relief, recovery and long-term reconstruction assistance:

Relief (rapid, life-saving emergency humanitarian assistance):

Search and Rescue:Deployed seven search-and-rescue teams as part of an international rescue effort that saved more than 130 lives.

Emergency Food Assistance: Provided emergency food relief for nearly four million people in the first three months after the earthquake, the largest emergency food distribution ever.

Water: Provided safe drinking water for up to 1.3 million people daily following the earthquake.

Sanitation: USAID and other international donors provided support for the installation of more than 11,500 latrines and 25 water systems.

Emergency Shelter: In cooperation with international partners, provided basic shelter materials to 1.5 million people in the five months after the earthquake (prior to the start of rainy season).

Cholera: Rapidly responded to the cholera outbreak and coordinated with the Government of Haiti, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other donors. The United States continues to be a strong bilateral supporter of cholera prevention and detection efforts in Haiti, and will continue to encourage efforts to respond to all causes of diarrheal diseases in Haiti.


Recovery (bridging the gap from emergency assistance to reconstruction):

Cash-for-Assets: Employed more than 350,000 people (about half of whom were women) in the first year after the earthquake through short-term, cash-for-assets jobs, injecting more than $19 million into the local economy.

Rubble Removal: Cleared more than 2.7 million cubic meters of rubble out of the 10 million cubic meters of rubble created by the earthquake.

Shelter Solutions: Provided shelter solutions for more than 328,000 people.

Education: Constructed over 600 semi-permanent classrooms, allowing 60,000 students to return to school.

Coordination and Planning: Supported the Interim Haiti Recovery Commission, the planning body for the Haitian recovery.


Reconstruction (promoting sustainable, long-term development, requiring in-depth exchanges with new partners and Government of Haiti officials to design and implement projects):

Housing/Settlements: USAID’s current shelter strategy focuses on measures to broaden access to safe, low-cost housing by supporting increased access to financing. USAID also completed permanent housing near the Caracol Industrial Park and north of Port-au-Prince and partnering with other donors and NGOs to support housing construction in three additional locations. The Agency is also providing community development support to ensure sustainability of these settlements.

Energy: Constructed a 10-megawatt power plant for the Caracol Industrial Park in Haiti’s north. The power plant is providing reliable, continuous electricity service to all of the tenants in the park and more than 8,000 households and businesses in adjacent communities. USAID’s Improved Cooking Technologies Program helped more than 100,000 households convert from charcoal to more efficient cookstoves.

Economic Security: USAID supports the creation of full-time, formal-sector employment in key industrial sectors, including agribusiness, apparel and construction by providing matching funds, technical assistance and business development services to small and medium sized enterprises. For example, USAID has leveraged over $13 million of private sector funds and created over 13,000 jobs through a matching grant program. USAID is also using public-private partnerships in Haiti to improve social and economic conditions as well as to deepen its development impact.

Food Security: Introduced improved seeds, fertilizer, irrigation and other new technologies to over 118,000 farmers; these increased yields for rice, corn, bean and plantain crops. As a result, farmers’ incomes have increased significantly. Feed the Future programs have also strengthened agricultural markets by reducing post-harvest losses and linking producers directly to markets. USAID microcredit programs have reached 57,000 small-scale farmers with an agricultural loan portfolio valued at close to $32 million.

Health: Supports 164 health facilities that provide access to primary health care services for approximately 40 percent of the population. USAID trained and supports 1,500 community health workers who serve rural communities without access to nearby health services. These community health workers and educators provide health services and disseminate key health messages in coordination with USAID-supported health facilities.

Education: USAID is promoting the use of a nationwide innovative instructional model in partnership with other donors, NGOs and the private sector. The goal is to holistically improve early grade reading and writing in Haitian Creole and French for Haitian children in the first four grades. Since 2010, USAID has provided more than 60,000 children and 2,000 teachers with innovative reading curricula that meet international standards for literacy instruction.

Disabilities: The USAID disabilities program established and developed the first standardized Rehabilitation Technician Training Program in Haiti. U.S. Government-supported projects have graduated 50 rehabilitation technicians trained in the hospital and community approaches and 22 orthotics and prosthetics technicians, the first cohort of technicians to be fully trained in Haiti. To strengthen collaboration and advocacy within the profession, physical therapy and orthotics associations were established.

Democracy and Governance: USAID is working with selected municipalities to improve local tax collection, management and service delivery. The Agency is also working with national government entities to improve the legal framework and increase the resources available to municipalities. For example, USAID supported the Haitian General Directorate of Taxes and the Municipality of Saint Marc to conduct a census of taxable businesses. This contributed to an increase in the commune’s tax rolls of over 1,700 businesses – an increase of approximately 90 percent – resulting in a doubling of business license revenues.

Justice: Through its Judicial Strengthening program, USAID provided technical assistance to the Superior Judicial Council (CSPJ), which administers, controls as well as disciplines the court system, including vetting and assigning judges. At its full capacity the CSPJ will address judicial corruption by enforcing more rigorous standards of conduct and penalizing judges who are not in compliance.

Anti-Corruption: To combat corruption within the public sector and improve transparency of financial management, USAID continues to support implementation of the Integrated Financial Management System (IFMS), which allows connectivity between the Government of Haiti revenue collection and expenditure management systems. After most of the Government of Haiti physical infrastructure was destroyed by the earthquake, USAID helped to re-establish the IFMS in mid-2010 and the Government of Haiti has gradually built back operability.


Additional Information
We are working closely with a number of other U.S. Government agencies, including the U.S. Department of Energy, U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Department of Treasury, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Department of State. Working with these agencies, we are better able to support a comprehensive approach to implementing four key pillars for development: infrastructure and energy; food and economic security; health and education; and democracy, governance and rule of law.

In addition to the earthquake response and long-term development activities, USAID has provided assistance to help Haiti recover from other natural disasters, such as hurricanes and droughts. To learn more about USAID’s Hurricane Matthew response and recovery efforts, click here.

Last updated: August 10, 2017

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