American Red Cross
Washington — Two years after the Haiti earthquake, the American Red Cross is helping people rebuild their homes and their lives and improving communities with health, water and sanitation projects.
In a two-year update, the American Red Cross highlighted its emergency work after the 7.0 earthquake struck Haiti on January 12, 2010, as well as its recovery efforts over the past year. Recovery activities have included building homes, giving people opportunities to earn money, providing access to clean water and sanitation systems, supporting the delivery of health care, and teaching communities how to prevent the spread of diseases and be better prepared for future disasters.
“The money donated to the American Red Cross provided life-saving relief to millions of Haitians after the earthquake and is now being used for longer-term solutions such as helping people move from camps to permanent homes and communities,” said Gail McGovern, president and CEO of the American Red Cross.
“Although progress is not as fast as we would like, recovery is well underway,” McGovern said, adding “for example, the pace of home construction has increased rapidly, with the American Red Cross and the rest of the global Red Cross network providing housing to more than 100,000 people at the two-year mark.”
Other highlights of the past year include:
• Providing clean water and sanitation services to more than 369,000 people
• Providing health services and hygiene education to more than 2.4 million people
• Reaching more than 3 million people with cholera treatment and prevention
• Teaching more than 436,000 people how to better prepare for disasters
• Providing livelihoods assistance – grants, jobs and other help – to 114,000 people
The American Red Cross received about $486 million in donations following the earthquake, and has spent and signed agreements to spend $330 million on Haiti earthquake relief and recovery efforts in the first two years. The largest portion of spending has gone to food and emergency services, followed by housing, water and sanitation, health, livelihoods, disaster preparedness, and response to the cholera outbreak.
“In the coming year, the American Red Cross will focus on programs to renew communities, which include constructing and repairing homes, providing clean water and sanitation, health education, livelihood support and disaster preparedness programming,” McGovern said. “We also continue to support hospitals and clinics that are critical to providing access to needed medical treatment in Haiti, and we will maintain our efforts to combat cholera and teach people how to prevent diseases.”
Housing is a priority, and the American Red Cross is shifting its focus from providing transitional homes to building permanent homes and repairing damaged homes so people can return to their former neighborhoods.