The report, which can be found at redcross.org/haiti, shows that hundreds of thousands of people are living in safer homes and have improved access to water and health services thanks to the generous donations following the earthquake.
On Jan. 12, 2010, Haiti was hit by the most powerful earthquake to strike the country in 200 years. The Haitian government said some 316,000 people were killed but no one really knows how many people died, according to the Associated Press. The disaster displaced more than
1 million people.
Haitian President Michel Martelly marked the three-year anniversary with two quiet ceremonies, including a wreath-laying ceremony that included former U.S. President Bill Clinton and Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe, according to the Associated Press.
In a speech, Martelly said the government had just released a new construction code aimed at ensuring new buildings are seismically resistant in hopes of preventing the same kind of catastrophic damage in any future earthquake.
Clinton, the U.N. special envoy to Haiti, expressed hope about Haiti’s future in brief comments to reporters after the ceremony.
“I think that you will see, particularly in the economic sphere, a lot more in the coming year, where Haiti is projected to have the highest growth rate in the Caribbean,” he said. “Well, we hope to speed up some of the infrastructure. We have to repair the agriculture and build a lot more houses. We’ve got to get those people out of those tents.”
Most of the rubble created by the quake has been carted away, but more than 350,000 people still live in grim displacement camps.
According to a press release from the American Red Cross, virtually all of the $486 million donated to the American Red Cross following the earthquake has been spent, committed or allocated for planned housing and neighborhood recovery, health, clean water and sanitation or disaster preparedness projects.
Napa County residents donated $28,483.69, according to Anne Steinhauer, who is the executive director of the Napa County chapter of the American Red Cross.
Local Red Cross CEO Tim Miller said, “The American Red Cross remains dedicated to wisely spending the money donated for Haiti’s recovery. The people of Napa County who so generously supported our work can be proud that their donations are making a significant difference in thousands of Haitians’ lives. This past year has been about making progress permanent by continuing to move people from camps into safer homes, building hospitals that will last, and ensuring that communities are better prepared for future disasters.”
National Red Cross Disaster Officer Anne Reynolds, who recently relocated to Sonoma County, served in the American Red Cross Haiti response.
“Witnessing the devastating effects of the earthquake was heart-wrenching,” Reynolds said. But “witnessing the incredible outpouring of generosity from around the world, and putting their generosity to work, was so heart-warming.”
In addition to helping move more people out of camps, the Red Cross continued its work to upgrade transitional homes and repair permanent homes. Much of the past year has involved transitioning toward projects that are aimed at building long-term solutions to meet more than just individual or family needs. This includes investing in the creation of fully functioning and resilient communities, from infrastructure and housing solutions to health, sanitation, livelihoods and disaster preparedness.
Since the earthquake in 2010, American Red Cross programs in Haiti have:
• Provided clean water and sanitation services for more than 545,000 people;
• Invested more than
$65 million in health services and infrastructure, including construction or operational funding for several hospitals;
• Reached 3.1 million people with cholera response and prevention activities, including the country’s first-ever cholera vaccination campaign;
• Assisted more than 465,000 people to be better prepared for disasters like Tropical Storm Isaac and Superstorm Sandy;
• Spent more than
$32 million on livelihoods assistance, including grants, job training, cash-for-work and other help.
(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)