Haiti emergency response

In January 2010, the third deadliest earthquake in history devastated Haiti, killing over 300,000 people and leaving over one million homeless. Over the past seven years, Caritas has been supporting the Haitian people to rebuild the country and improve living conditions.

You help others change the course of their own lives."
Pope Francis

Marlène, member of the Urban Garden Project in Haiti

Marlène and her eight children lost their home in the earthquake. Five years on, she is now growing and selling food to support her family.

Read Marlène's story »

The earthquake

On 12 January 2010, an earthquake measuring 7.0 on the Richter scale struck a few miles outside the capital of Port-au-Prince, Haiti.

Haiti is home to approx. 9.7 million people. In Port-au-Prince, there are two million trying to survive – many live in slums and 80% of the country lives in poverty.

When the earthquake struck, over 300,000 people were killed and more than one million were left homeless. However the impact not only affected the residents, it caused the already fragile government to nearly collapse under the pressure.

The Caritas network response

Thanks to the generosity of Australians who donated to our appeal, our agency and partners on the ground have a long-term plan set in place.

Together with the international Caritas network including US partner, Catholic Relief Services, our relief programs are contributing to the improvement of the health, wellbeing and living conditions of Haiti’s most disadvantaged communities.

Haiti mustn’t be forgotten. The process of rebuilding and healing is ongoing. Seven years after the earthquake, Caritas is still accompanying the Haitian people on their journey to a better future.

At a glance

The Caritas network continues to:

  • Provide psychosocial support
  • Provide shelter and materials to repair houses
  • Address water and hygiene needs through the instalment of toilets, showers and latrines
  • Address solid waste management
  • Facilitate the recycling of rubble into high-quality marketable commodities that are used to rebuild stronger, more resilient communities
  • Improve food security and access to fresh water
  • Construct and rehabilitate health facilities in Port-au-Prince
  • Provide bookkeeping, inventory, financial management, and marketing training, as well as cash grants to set up small scale businesses
  • Provide youth programs that focus on peace building and livelihood skills development