Haiti earthquake

The Haiti earthquake left 222,570 people dead and more than 300,000 injured.


Following the powerful 7.0 magnitude earthquake that struck on 12 January 2010, World Vision launched its largest ever single-country humanitarian response.

The devastating quake was centred just 10km underground and rocked the capital Port-au-Prince, leaving 222,570 people dead and more than 300,000 injured.

Just eight days later, another earthquake measuring 6.1 magnitude struck the already devastated region. 

Entire hillsides were flattened and many buildings collapsed in the capital, including hospitals and schools. About 1.5 million people were left homeless and forced to live in temporary shelter sites in Port-au-Prince. More than 500,000 people left the capital to seek refuge with families in rural areas. 

Just weeks after the earthquake, heavy rainfall led to flooding that killed at least 13 people and caused the temporary evacuation of some 3,428 others.

TOP: Cooking kits provided by World Vision are distributed to earthquake survivors in Haiti, following the earthquake that struck the capital on 12 January 2010. BOTTOM LEFT: A food distribution point set up for earthquake survivors by World Vision. BOTTOM RIGHT: Children in the first of six Child Friendly Spaces, at Camp Accra where World Vision has donated tarps, blankets, cook kits, drinking water and food.

How did World Vision respond to the Haiti earthquake?

World Vision deployed its global rapid response team to work with World Vision Haiti staff already on the ground. World Vision Haiti staff acted immediately, working around the clock to provide emergency shelter, food and medical treatment.

The first six months saw thousands of children in camps benefit from early childhood education, mothers and babies receive nutritional support, and people suffering depression receive psycho-social support. People in camps received free health care via clinics, and food, water and relief item distributions continued.

One year on, as emergency supplies were still being distributed, World Vision launched transitional shelter projects for thousands of families. Staff responded around the nation to a cholera outbreak and also assisted communities to prepare for hurricane season.

World Vision’s emergency response continued tirelessly for five years. It was a response characterised by immense challenges, from land tenure issues and political instability to extreme weather, but undeniable progress was made:

  • at least  2 million people were provided with food assistance over the life of the response;
  • more than 40,000 families were provided with emergency shelter, and 2,500 families were provided with reinforced shelters;
  • 7,700 children were cared for in 30 camp-based play and educational centres, and more than 1,000 children were reunited with their families;
  • 14 hospitals were equipped with life-saving supplies and we operated 12 health clinics that treated more than 109,000  cases of injury and illness;
  • for two years, we supplied drinking water for 90,000 people across 26 camps;
  • we provided cholera prevention and treatment for at least 300,000 people; and
  • 600,000 people were provided with essential household supplies, such as tarps, blankets, mosquito nets and flashlights.

World Vision has been working in Haiti for more than 30 years and runs 19 long-term development programs across three regions, supporting more than 190,000 people including 60,000 children. The organisation is committed to working with Haitians to contribute to Haiti’s recovery in the long term.

World Vision Australia launched an appeal to provide assistance with relief efforts in Haiti and the generosity of Australians let World Vision contribute to "building back better" in Port-au-Prince and surrounds.  We are no longer calling for public donations for Haiti, but our Disaster Ready fund helps us to prepare for similar emergencies wherever they may strike.

Become an Emergency Responder Help us ensure that life-saving emergency supplies and trained staff are on the scene quickly in an emergency like the Haiti earthquake.

TOP: Yulisa, aged 8, hides under a blanket, her attempt to escape from the blazing sun. LEFT: Rigest, aged 9, enjoys his meal of pasta, provided by World Vision in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. RIGHT: Children smile as they peer out of a makeshift tent, provided by World Vision. BELOW LEFT: Fabiola, aged 8, is glad that tarps provided by World Vision help keep out the rain. BELOW RIGHT: 4-year-old Schneily receives medical treatment after she was injured in the earthquake. BOTTOM: A boy receives a meal provided by World Vision, along with wheat, soy and oil at a World Vision distribution point in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.