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Haiti: earthquake response efforts continue

19 Aug 2021

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A resident clears a home that was damaged during the earthquake in the Capicot area in Camp-Perrin in Haiti’s South Department, 16 August 2021. © UNICEF/Rouzier

As of yesterday, 18 August, the latest tolls as a result of the earthquake in Haiti this past weekend have risen to more than 2,100 dead and more than 9,900 people injured. Search-and-rescue operations are still ongoing. 

The Haitian Civil Protection General Directorate says that about 500,000 people – 40 per cent of the total population in the affected departments – are in need of emergency humanitarian assistance. Nearly 61,000 homes have been destroyed and more than 76,000 have sustained damages in the three most affected departments, leaving thousands of people homeless. Initial rapid assessments found that 24 health facilities have been affected in the Sud, Nippes and Grand’Anse departments, with 20 facilities suffering infrastructural damages and 4 destroyed. 

Tropical Depression Grace had a moderate impact on Haiti, triggering flooding in Jacmel, Les Cayes and Marigot, which has created additional safety risks for damaged homes and people left homeless by the earthquake. 

Yesterday, two more humanitarian convoys delivered assistance. Convoys have faced roadblocks erected by communities with unmet needs, highlighting the need for accountability to affected populations and communication with communities. 

The World Food Programme has 3,500 tons of food pre-positioned across Haiti and is starting to make deliveries to affected people. WFP is prioritizing its logistics support to transport search-and-rescue teams, health actors and medical supplies to Les Cayes, Jérémie and other affected areas.

The International Organization for Migration has begun delivering non-food items, including blankets, tarpaulins and repair kits, in Miragoine, Les Cayes and Jérémie, while the shelter sector explores more durable shelter solutions based on assessed needs amid widespread displacement.

Two days ago, a UNICEF truck delivered six medical kits to three hospitals in Les Cayes, with enough supplies to treat 30,000 earthquake victims over three months. UNICEF and partners are distributing tarpaulins for emergency shelter, latrines and showers; water reservoirs for safe water distribution; and hygiene kits. Additional supplies, including education and recreational kits, are being mobilized.

The Government’s Health Crisis Cell (UNGUS) has been activated to coordinate and provide support in the health emergency response. Rapid assessments teams have been deployed, and essential medicines, equipment and supplies have been distributed.