Haiti earthquake response
Australia responded quickly to the devastating earthquake that struck Haiti on 12 January 2010.
The Australian Government provided $26.2 million for immediate relief and reconstruction following the January 2010 earthquake, while the Australian public generously donated $26 million in response to appeals by Australian non-government organisations. Virtually all of the Australian Government’s assistance has either been delivered on the ground or allocated to international agencies to deliver their programs.
$10 million in emergency assistance was provided in the immediate aftermath of the disaster to support relief efforts:
- $1 million to the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies
- $4.5 million to the United Nations World Food Program which helped provide food to an estimated 3.5 million people
- $1 million to the United Nations Office of Coordination for Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)
- $1 million to the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA)
- $2.5 million to six Australian NGOs—Oxfam, CARE, Caritas, Save the Children, Plan and World Vision.
This funding also helped deliver clean water, shelter, education and protection—for 4800 children.
$14 million was
provided to support recovery and longer-term reconstruction efforts in Haiti:
- $2.5 million to the United Nations Development Programme's Cash for Work Programme which created jobs for more than 97,000 Haitians
- $10 million to the Haiti Reconstruction Fund which is managed by the World Bank.
- Of the remaining $1.5 million, $750,000 was provided to support the Caribbean Community's relief efforts and $750,000 to help construct water tanks for rainwater storage in partnership with Brazil..
The Australian Government rapidly responded to UNICEF’s cholera appeal providing $1 million in December 2010 and then $455,000 through CARICOM in May 2011. In addition, $765,000 has supported Cuba’s delivery of health assistance in Haiti.
The October 2010 cholera outbreak was mostly centred in central rural regions of Haiti straddling the Artibonite River. National cholera cases and fatality rates continued to trend down between mid 2011to early 2012. However, the rain and hurricane season is expected to pose a significant challenge between April to November. According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) April 2012 report, the epidemic infected 530,953 people and killed more than 7,000 others.
Australia also deployed through the Australian Civilian Corps, a donor liaison officer in the Interim Haiti Recovery Commission in Port-Au-Prince for 12 months ending March 2012.
With the support of Australia and other international donors more than 1.5 million people have returned to their homes and are rebuilding their livelihoods.
With the humanitarian situation and response now stabilised, the Haitian Government and donor partners are focusing on finding longer term solutions for the large numbers of people displaced, numbering approximately 490,545 people. Efforts will focus on shelter, livelihoods, health, education, the environment and other vital needs.