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Haiti earthquake

More than 220,000 people died and more than 1 million people were left homeless when Haiti was hit by a devastating earthquake on 12 January 2010.

Three years on, Haiti is still vulnerable to external shocks and the state remains institutionally weak and unable to respond to such crises. Over one million Haitians are still in need of humanitarian aid according to the United Nations. 

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Latest blogs from Haiti

Five years after earthquake Oxfam highlights successes and challenges of Haiti response

Five years ago on 12 January, a powerful earthquake struck Haiti, killing more than 220,000 people, injuring more than 330,000 others and reducing great swaths of the city to rubble. Thanks to the... Read more

Sharing Stories Far and Wide

Having lived and taught in both Kenya and Malawi, it gives me considerable pleasure to know that Oxfam's educational resources are being used around the world in countries as diverse as Australia,... Read more

Oxfam's response in Haiti

During the first year of our emergency response Oxfam helped 500,000, through providing access to sanitation and water and supporting protection programmes in camps for victims of gender based violence, and promoting livelihoods creation through cash-for-work programmes and support to small-scale enterprises.

In 2011, Oxfam made a transition from emergency response to longer-term rehabilitation and development-focused programming, gradually leaving the more than 120 camps where we had been working. We handed over most of our water and sanitation (WASH) programmes to trained water committees and established alternative WASH provision mechanisms in all the camps we exited. We continue to monitor the camps in order to respond if the need arises and we do regular training with water committees.

Oxfam's focus now is on longer-term development, promoting sustainable change. We are working in communities rather than camps; identifying and engaging with Haitian organisations as partners in initiatives to strengthen citizen participation.

In 2012 Oxfam has reached 325,000 people through:

  • supporting employment creation through the development of small enterprises;
  • building stronger and safer neighbourhoods by supporting the construction of long-term sanitation services, this includes building latrines and sanitation infrastructure in public spaces such as schools, market places and health centres (this forms part of Haiti´s national sanitation strategy to eradicate cholera); building eco-latrines and water filters in neighbourhoods and in transitional shelters; working with partners and local authorities to conduct ongoing hygiene promotion in schools and neighbourhoods; 
  • working with small scale farmers to support their livelihoods.

Oxfam continues to respond to the cholera outbreak in Haiti by providing clean water and sanitation services, public health education campaigns, distribution of hygiene kits and oral rehydration salts.

We have also responded to tropical storms Isaac and Sandy. Most recently, after Hurricane Sandy, Oxfam distributed seeds and other materials to farmers whose gardens were destroyed, as well as carrying out public health promotion work to prevent the spread of cholera.

Furthermore, in order to try and reduce Haiti´s vulnerability to future natural hazards, Oxfam has continued its work in Disaster Risk Reduction by creating 24 local protection committees and facilitating 32 committees for training on disaster risk reduction. Special measures were also put into place to protect the Artibonite riverbanks, while rehabilitating irrigation canals and dredging 40,000 meters of secondary and tertiary irrigation canals.

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