This week marks the three year anniversary of the devastating earthquake in Haiti. When news that hundreds of thousands had been killed, injured and displaced in what was already one of the poorest countries in the world, the Irish public responded with great compassion and generosity. Over €106,000 was donated to World Vision Ireland’s appeal. This money saved lives and has helped many of those affected get back on their feet.
On 12 January, 2010, Frank Williams, at that time national director of WV Haiti, spoke by phone on global television news network CNN, saying that there was screaming in the streets of Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Mr Williams was one of the first voices speaking to the world about the 7.0 magnitude earthquake that had occurred mere moments before. A number of World Vision offices around the world very quickly began raising funds for the response and providing information to media, while staff in Haiti gathered themselves to hand out bottled water—an initial gesture in what would quickly become a massive relief effort.
Three years later, World Vision has spent more than €168 million on relief and rehabilitation in Haiti, which lost nearly a quarter million people to the disaster. World Vision’s work has helped more than 2.5 million people. This information and more is available in a new report.
In the initial phase of the response, World Vision helped affected families meet immediate needs by providing emergency food; critical services such as healthcare, basic sanitation, education and child protection; and necessary supplies like water, bedding and personal items.
We provided emergency shelter for more than 200,000 people in 49 World Vision-managed camps; constructed enough transitional shelters to move more than 14,600 people out of tents and into safer, sturdier accommodations; and transitioned an additional 2,748 households—close to 11,000 people—out of World Vision-managed camps and onto better lives.
Additionally, after the cholera outbreak in October 2010, we initiated a large-scale response, focusing on both prevention and treatment, which saved countless lives.
As the response continued, World Vision provided 2,700 people with business development training and access to start-up funding for new business ventures. We also helped 15,000 people improve their food security while rebuilding communities through cash-for-work and food-for-work programmes, and gave hundreds of adolescents vocational training in high-demand skills.
The goal is not simply to return Haiti to pre-quake conditions but rather to build back stronger and more resilient.
In late 2012, World Vision conducted an extensive end-of-programme evaluation, engaging nearly 1,500 adults and children, to measure the effectiveness of the quake response. These findings will guide our continuing efforts to strengthen communities in Haiti and help us to respond to future emergencies with greater effectiveness.
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