When Haitians started their day on 12 January ten years ago, they could not have imagined the devastation that was about to befall their country. Later that day, a 7.0 magnitude earthquake struck, claiming the lives of more than 220,000 people. The quake – one of the deadliest natural disasters on record – destroyed much of the country’s fragile infrastructure and left many Haitians in dire need of assistance.
UNICEF mobilized quickly, providing urgent support to children, women and families, many of whom were without shelter, water, food and other basic necessities. The priority was to save lives.
But a decade later, Haiti continues to face multiple crises. Worsening food insecurity and malnutrition, water-borne disease epidemics and high vulnerability to natural disasters have placed added pressure on women and children. UNICEF is committed to the children of Haiti, working with the government and other partners to reach vulnerable children – giving them the support they need to recover and helping them along the path to a better future.
(Above) February 2010: A girl looks out from between the tarpaulin sheeting of the tent where she is living, in a displaced camp in the capital Port-au-Prince. Three million people – almost a third of the population – were directly or indirectly affected by the 2010 earthquake.