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. More than a million people were left homeless and are living 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.

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 prepare for hurricane season.

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

  • more than 2.5 million were people supplied with emergency food in the initial phase of the response
  • more than 40,000 families provided with emergency shelter, and long-lasting transitional shelters for over 14,600 people
  • close to 11,000 people were transitioned out of World Vision managed camps and offered education, livelihood support and life skills and business training to help families rebuild their lives
  • 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, enabling them to treat 412,500 cases of injury and illness
  • Drinking water was supplied to 56 camps and communities, and we worked with 68 Water Point Committees to ensure community ownership of local water supplies
  • 90,000 people were given access to mobile latrines and 132,000 people had a hygienic place to shower
  • 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 20 long-term development programs across five regions, supporting more than 300,000 people. 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.