haiti earthquake
Members of USAID and Joint Task Force-Haiti distribute critical relief supplies after the earthquake. Courtesy: USAID Twitter

The Aug. 14 earthquake that killed more than 2,200 people in southwest Haiti is exacerbating pre-existing needs in the three most affected departments. In Grande’Anse, Nippes and the South, more than 610,000 people had acute humanitarian needs prior to the earthquake, according to a ReliefWeb report by the United Nations.

Needs identified in the Aug. 24 report include food security, education and shelter. To address these needs after the earthquake the report said taht “capitalizing on national expertise, capacities and knowledge” will be important.

“It is thus crucial to support national leadership and coordination efforts, to bolster and work through national and local actors and national and local systems, while empowering local economic actors as a way to boost economic recovery,” the report stated.

After serving immediate needs, the report called for repairs to health, water, sanitation and other infrastructure systems, along with providing short-term employment for debris clearance and rehabilitations. The report also detailed $187 million in financial requirements needed for rebuilding. Restoring food security ($40 million), education ($39 million) and shelter ($30 million), were the three largest requirements.

Sam is a reporter for The Haitian Times and a 2020 Report for America corps member. He has covered Haiti and its diaspora since 2018. His work has also appeared in USA Today, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review and Haiti Liberte. Sam can be reached at sam@haitiantimes.com or on Twitter @sambojarski.

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