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2010 Haiti earthquake response - case study


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Case study highlighting achievement and failures of the international response to the 2010 earthquake in Haiti. This presentation was given during Fordham University's "International Diploma on Humanitarian Assistance".

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2010 Haiti earthquake response - case study

  1. Case Study – Haiti 2010Timo LügeIDHA 39, Berlin 17.03.2013 1
  2. Situation in Haiti before the quake Haiti: 9.7 million people Metro Port-au-Prince (PAP): 2.4 million people 80 % of all economic activity in PAP 67 % of PAP population in “informal areas” Average living space in informal areas: 1,98 m2/person 30 % in PAP have access to sanitation 54 % in PAP have access to clean water Very prone to natural disasters (hurricanes, floods)17.03.2013 2
  3. Political situation Violent political history Upcoming presidential elections Unpopular UN peacekeeping operation since 2004 (MINUSTAH) Recent food riots after food prices rose 40 % Remittances make up 20 % of GDP17.03.2013 3
  4. 2010 earthquake Photo: UNDP17.03.2013 4
  5. 2010 earthquake 7.0 magnitude earthquake struck near capital Port-au-Prince More than 300,000 people were injured Close to 200,000 houses were badly damaged and 100,000 were destroyed 1.5 million people were displaced17.03.2013 5
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  7. CasualtiesNumber of deaths according to different sources: Government of Haiti: 316,000 United Nations: 230,000 Group of US academics: 158,000 USAID: 85,000Compared with 2004 tsunami:230,000 deaths across 13 countries17.03.2013 7
  8. Casualties 25% of civil servants in Port-au-Prince died 60% of Government and administrative buildings, 80% of schools in Port-au-Prince and 60% of schools in the South and West provinces were destroyed or damaged Over 600,000 people left their home in Port-au-Prince and stayed with host or own families 100,000 IDPs lived in camps that were at critical risk from storms and flooding Also: UN HQ destroyed and 115 UN staff dead17.03.2013 8
  9. Logistical Challenges Haiti is an island The hub, Port-au-Prince, severely affected Airport not operational Harbours not operational-> Logistics pipeline through Santo Domingo17.03.2013 9
  10. Initial rapid response First Search and Rescue teams in Haiti 22 hours after the earthquake First Red Cross teams 36 hours after the quake All large organisations show up quickly Stockpiles are quickly distributed US Air Force takes over airport; later criticised for prioritisation of flights17.03.2013 10
  11. Achievements: First six months 4 million people have received food aid 1.2 million people have access to safe water daily 1.5 million people have received emergency shelter materials 2.1 million household Non-Food Items (NFIs) have been distributed 11,000 latrines have been installed 195,000 children have benefited from temporary learning spaces 550,000 children and pregnant/lactating women have received supplementary feeding 1 million people have benefited from Cash-for-Work programmes 5,900 people have been relocated from imminently dangerous locations 142,000 households have received agricultural inputs for spring planting Source: OCHA17.03.2013 11
  12. HealthFrom the 12th of January to the 31st of March: MSF carried out 11,749 operations and treated 173,757 cases in total The International Red Cross Red Crescent Movement treated another 95,000 cases17.03.2013 12
  13. But… Despite massive efforts, not enough Unequal distribution of aid: • Port-au-Prince / rural areas • Safe / unsafe areas of Port-au-Prince Unequal quality of aid No control/accountability mechanism for many new actors arriving17.03.2013 13
  14. Harmful aid – too many “helpers” Influx of thousands of “NGOs” No language skills or interpreters No previous experience in developing countries or outside their country No “back office” (transportation, food, accommodation, materials), creating new case load for humanitarians No long-term strategy Help or grievous bodily harm? Lots of unwanted gifts in kind, i.e. junk17.03.2013 14
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  18. Rubble 10 million cubic meters of rubble Rubble contains human remains In 2010, 2 million cubic meters were removed Many residents didn’t want rubble removed w/o compensation or land title Nowhere to put the rubble Positive: quick assessment of buildings in Port- au-Prince17.03.2013 18
  19. Land titles / land disputes Available land at a premium after the earthquake Official land titles exists for only 5 % of land Office holding these titles was destroyed Squatters are being evicted NGOs reluctant to build shelter on land where ownership is not clear Government owns 50 % of land yet made only two pieces of land available in first four months.17.03.2013 19
  20. Aid too focused on camps Rationale: Easier to serve people in camps Services concentrated in camps and not in communities Families maintained “a presence” in (multiple) camps to access services even if they lived somewhere else Very uneven standards in different camps Not enough support for host families, particularly outside PAP17.03.2013 20
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  25. Coordination challenges At the beginning only in English Meeting on the UN Logistics Base which only allowed access to some Haitian authorities and Haitian NGOs were marginalised Coordinators received 1 email per second Too many actors Little experience in coordinating with the military17.03.2013 25
  26.  Cluster leads and OCHA were not part of the Coordination Support Committee or strategic level Decisions not always based on humanitarian principles17.03.2013 26
  27. Money Many pledges were not fulfilled Haitian government out of the loop and without control over the funds History of corruption meant most donors didn’t trust GoH Over 90 % of money went to international actors (UN, private sector, NGOs)17.03.2013 27
  28. New York Times, 23 December 201217.03.2013 28
  29. Interim Haiti Recovery Commission Charged with approving recovery projects which could then be funded by the Haiti Reconstruction Fund Led by Bill Clinton (UN Special Representative for Haiti) and Jean-Max Bellerive (Prime Minister) Partly created because donors didn’t trust GoH Completely dysfunctional Mandate ended in Oct 2011, not replaced yet17.03.2013 29
  30. Communication Photo: Julien Goldstein, IFRC17.03.2013 30
  31. Communication Establishment of a cluster-like mechanism for “Communication with Disaster Affected Communities” (CDAC) 39 million SMS sent by humanitarian organisations Over 900,000 calls to Red Cross hotline Dedicated radio and TV shows for beneficiaries Volunteer and Tech Community as new actor17.03.2013 31
  32. Ushahidi17.03.2013 32
  33. Open Street Map 12 January 2010 15 January201017.03.2013 33
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  35. CholeraPhoto: Julien Goldstein, IFRC 17.03.2013 35
  36. Cholera Started in October 2010 Source: Nepalese peace keepers 648,000 people infected (MoH) 8,000 people died (MoH) Haiti has had twice as many cholera patients as all of Africa (MSF) UN rejects claims for compensation17.03.2013 36
  37. ElectionsPhoto: Andre Lambertson 17.03.2013 37
  38. Main problems of Haiti response Weak government Influx of too many unqualified actors Chronic poverty that increased vulnerability Lack of involvement of Haitian civil society Little experience with urban disasters Not enough support for IDPs and their families outside urban camps17.03.2013 38
  39. Questions?17.03.2013 39
  40. Thank you!Timo Lügetimo.luege@gmail.comTwitter: @timolueTel: +49 170 311 22 4317.03.2013 40