World

Four Years Later, Haiti Still Recovering From Deadly Quake

In 2010, a 7.0 magnitude earthquake left 200,000 dead and 1.5 million homeless. Four years later, the country is still struggling.

Four Years Later, Haiti Still Recovering From Deadly Quake
United Nations
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Four years after the earthquake in Haiti, which created an instant humanitarian crisis and drew widespread international support, the impoverished country is still dealing with the challenges brought on by the disaster — and a few new ones as well.

The 7.0 magnitude earthquake killed an estimated 200,000 people and displaced almost 1.5 million. Haiti's infrastructure was devastated by the quake, and the country's capital Port-au-Prince was almost demolished. (Via The New York Times )

International help began flowing into Haiti after the quake. Aid organizations like the Red Cross provided relief to the stricken country, and foreign governments pledged a combined $14 billion to help Haiti rebuild.

The country has seen some progress. A recent United Nations report said almost 90 percent of the displaced population has been relocated, and food shortages along with infant mortality rates have dropped.

But for the 145,000 people still living in Haiti's tent camps, the situation hasn't gotten much better. The government lacks the resources to relocate them all, and those who've  left have found themselves stranded without income. (Via Al Jazeera)

The country is also recovering from a crippling bout of cholera which began shortly after the earthquake. The disease has claimed more than 8,000 lives — and has been linked to a U.N. base set up in response to the quake. (Via BBC)

"The soldiers at the base came from Nepal, a country where cholera exists. The bacteria we identified matches the one from Nepal. All this cannot just be coincidence." (Via Channel 4)

Victims of the cholera outbreak are currently trying to sue the U.N. for compensation and the resources to fix the country's water and sanitation systems. (Via CNN)

Former AP reporter Jonathan Katz told The Huffington Post the problem is that the kind of infrastructure projects Haiti really needs don't get enough attention.

"These big, structural, infrastructure, institutional changes and developments have to happen, and they don't. ... It's the sort of thing that, if you're in an aid group, you don't get to fly your flag on top of."

Although foreign relief has been petering out in the years following the quake, Haiti's plight isn't totally forgotten. Actor Sean Penn raised $6 million for the country Sunday during his third Help Haiti Home gala.