When Haiti was hit by a catastrophic 7.0-magnitude earthquake on January 12, 2010, the country was already considered the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. Many of its people lacked basic services such as latrines and potable water, and the capital, Port-au-Prince, suffered from a 500,000-unit housing shortage.
The disaster exacerbated these needs, and the many countries that have worked with the Haitian people to help them recover from the earthquake admit that much remains to be done. Still, the combined efforts of Haiti and the international community are paying off.
Approximately $9.5 billion in aid has been disbursed by the international community, including nongovernmental organizations.
American citizens gave $1.4 billion to relief and recovery efforts, and some found other ways to help, such as using the online tool Ushahidi to map reports of damage and where help was most needed.
The U.S. government contributed $4 billion for earthquake relief and longer-term reconstruction. Secretary of State John Kerry says the U.S. has contributed to these positive outcomes:
- 70,000 Haitian farmers have higher crop yields and incomes.
- 328,000 displaced Haitians have found alternative shelter.
- Nearly half of all Haitians can access basic health services at a U.S.-supported facility.
- 3,300 new police officers have been trained and commissioned.
- Roughly 5,000 jobs have been created at Caracol Industrial Park.
Kerry says the tireless work by the Haitian people has led to remarkable progress. Five years after the disaster, Haiti has transitioned to a period of long-term development and reconstruction.