10 years since Haiti’s devastating earthquake

On January 12, 2010, a powerful earthquake struck Haiti, destroying much of the capital Port-au-Prince, killing more than 250,000 people and leaving more than one million homeless.

Ten years later, the magnitude 7.0 earthquake continues to have consequences on the Western Hemisphere’s poorest country. Amid endemic poverty, a string of natural disasters and an ongoing political crisis, the island and its people have struggled to recover and to rebuild.

Just months after the earthquake, the worst cholera epidemic in recent history engulfed the island, killing thousands of people and infecting thousands of others. United Nations peacekeepers were accused of spreading the disease, and the international body admitted its role in the outbreak.

In October 2016, Hurricane Matthew tore through Haiti, killing at least 1,000 people.

Starting in 2017, amid widespread anger over rising inflation, unemployment, fuel shortages, insecurity and allegations of corruption, protests began erupting in Port-au-Prince and other parts of the country, demonstrators demanding the resignation of President Moise Jovenel. Since then waves of protests have continued to grip the country. Dozens have been killed as security forces cracked down on protesters, raising allegations of excessive use of force.

Despite billions of dollars raised in aid following the 2010 quake, international humanitarian organisations have been criticised for slow rebuilding efforts and inefficient disbursement of funds.

A decade after the earthquake, the island, as well as its people, still bear the scars of the devastation that swept through the country.

More than six million Haitians live below the poverty line, according to the World Bank.

About half the country was undernourished last year, according to the UN, and nearly 3.7 million Haitians need urgent assistance to meet their daily food requirements.

Thousands continue to live in makeshift camps, with no power or running water, in what should have been temporary housing.

Source : Al Jazeera


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