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Haiti Earthquake Six Months Later – Oxfam figures

Haiti Earthquake Six Months Later – Oxfam figures

by freeform | July 5, 2010

The outpouring of global public support in response to the earthquake enabled aid to get through to Haiti and make a real difference. The scale of the aid response has helped to prevent violence, like riots for food, shelter or water. There has been no major outbreak of disease. However, the Haiti earthquake is one of the most complex humanitarian and development challenges in modern times. There are no short-term solutions for Haiti.

Before the quake, less than one-quarter of Haitians had sufficient access to sanitation, like latrines. Aid for sanitation has ensured that the situation has not worsened since the earthquake. According to our water and sanitation experts, metropolitan Port-au-Prince now has more drinking water and toilets than it did before the earthquake.

Our objectives for the next six months will focus on recovery: making sure people have sustained access to water and sanitation to prevent disease, and helping them earn an income. We will continue to meet the basic needs of the most vulnerable people who remain in camps, while working to rebuild communities and foster livelihoods.


  • There are more than 1.5 million people living in camps in Haiti.
  • There are more than 1,000 spontaneous settlement camps in Haiti inhabited by people left homeless by the quake.
  • Oxfam is currently reaching more than 420,000 people with services in water, sanitation, hygiene, livelihoods and shelter.
  • If you laid all tarpaulins that have been distributed by shelter cluster agencies end on end, they’d reach from New York City to Mexico City, Madrid to Moscow, Bangkok to Beijing or Nairobi to Cairo.
  • Before the earthquake, more than half the population did not have access to clean water.
  • The earthquake created approximately 19 million cubic meters (25 million cubic yards) of debris that has to be removed. It would take someone in a standard pick up truck more than 8 million trips to a waste facility to move this amount of debris. The majority of Haitians are removing the debris from their plots by hand.
  • In 2009, UN Habitat reported that there was deficit of housing in Port-au-Prince for more than one million households. Now, this lack of housing is greatly exacerbated with more than 1.5 million homeless people.
  • The total value of damage and losses caused by the January 12 earthquake is estimated at US$7.8 billion (US$4.3 billion represents physical damage and US$3.5 billion are economic losses). The damage and losses are equivalent of about more than 120 percent of the 2009 gross domestic product (GDP). This represents the highest economic impact of a disaster compared to national income in 35 years.


Oxfam spending (All figures in U.S. dollars)

  • Oxfam has raised about $90 million worldwide for the humanitarian earthquake response in Haiti to date.
  • As of the 6-month anniversary of the earthquake, Oxfam will have spent about $30 million (about 1/3 of money raised).
  • Of our overall program budget for the first six months, support costs account for no more than 7 per cent of the overall budget.
  • Oxfam’s programs since the earthquake have been focused on water/sanitation/hygiene (WASH), shelter, and emergency food security and livelihoods (EFSL), which is in line with priority needs identified in coordination with the UN cluster mechanism. The geographic area of focus included the Port-au-Prince metropolitan area as well as areas outside Port-au-Prince affected by the earthquake. Additionally, strong emphasis was placed on disaster risk reduction (DRR), accountability to beneficiaries, gender issues, HIV/AIDS and protection. Where possible, psychosocial counselling was part of the services provided.
  • We are currently reaching more than 420,000 people with our work. We are satisfied that our program plans for the first six months have largely been achieved. However, we have a long way to go with our work and major challenges remain for years to come.
  • Our earthquake response program in Haiti is planned to last three years based on current humanitarian needs and our current resources, moving from humanitarian into early recovery work. If future humanitarian needs arise, we will launch another appeal to raise more funds.

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