Earthquake in Haiti: Japan grants more than half a million US$ to UNICEF to respond to water, hygiene and sanitation needs

20 septembre 2021
Distribution of hygiene kits, including household water treatments products, soap, water storage, handwashing devices and hygiene pads
UNICEF Haiti/2021/Crickx

PORT-AU-PRINCE, 16 September 2021 - The Government of Japan has granted UNICEF 640,000 US dollars equaling over 70 million Japanese yen as an emergency grant aid to provide water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services and address the urgent needs of vulnerable children and their families affected by the earthquake in Haiti.

On 14 August 2021, a 7.2 magnitude earthquake hit the southwestern departments of South, Grand’Anse, and Nippes, compounded on 16 August with heavy rains from tropical depression Grace, further disrupting access to water, sanitation, shelter, and other basic services.  Over 2,200 people died, 12,700 injured, and 137,000 homes destroyed. UNICEF estimates 1.2 million, including 540,000 children need emergency assistance.

The grant will help guarantee access to safe drinking water and critical hygiene supplies and services for earthquake-affected households and communities with a focus on health care facilities and shelters, as well as prevent COVID-19 and other waterborne diseases. It will benefit 60,000 people including 31,200 women and 28,800 men in the departments of South, Grand’Anse, and Nippes.

“The earthquake that hit Haiti in August has killed and injured thousands of people and further deteriorated the water supply system in southern Haiti, increasing risks of waterborne diseases among affected population who have lost everything. Japan is working hand in hand with the National Directorate of Potable Water and Sanitation (DINEPA) and UNICEF, to help affected populations access safe drinking water, hygiene and sanitation,” said Mr. MIZUNO Mitsuaki Japanese Ambassador to Haïti.

Prior to the earthquake, only over half of the healthcare facilities in the three departments most affected by the earthquake had basic access to water services while 33 per cent of healthcare facilities in Grand-Anse and 15 per cent in South department have no water service. In the aftermath of the earthquake, nearly 60 per cent of people in the three most affected departments do not have access to safe water. Thousands of people whose houses have collapsed lack access to sanitation due partly to the damage wrought by the earthquake.

“Women and children who have been impacted by the earthquake will not recover quickly if they have to grapple with waterborne diseases because they do not have access to safe drinking water and adequate hygiene and sanitation facilities. With this generous donation from Japan, UNICEF will ensure the affected populations are protected from waterborne diseases and other infections such as COVID-19,” said Bruno Maes UNICEF Haiti Representative.

With this grant from Japan, UNICEF will ensure that at-risk populations affected by the earthquake have access to safe drinking water and sanitation facilities and reduce the risk of COVID-19 and other water-borne diseases.

For more information:

MATSUURA Shiro, Chief of cooperation, Embassy of Japan, Haïti,, (509) 3849 1459

Ndiaga Seck, Chief of Communication UNICEF Haïti,, (509) 3744 6199

Contacts presse

Ndiaga Seck
Chef de la Communication
Tél: +50937446199
Tél: +50928123076
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