Six months after the quake: risks, support and opportunities impact the lives of children

August 2010

 


Six months after the strongest earthquake to hit Haiti in 200 years, the challenges to meet the needs of more than 800,000 affected children and their families remain daunting.

The earthquake left behind a death toll of over 220,000 persons and over 300,000 injured. Some two million persons have been displaced from their homes and some 1.6 million of them remain in overcrowded displacement camps. The country's infrastructure was devastated with 60 per cent of government infrastructure destroyed and over 180,000 homes uninhabitable.

"The earthquake in Haiti was a disaster for children and it isn't over yet," said Anthony Lake, UNICEF Executive Director. "UNICEF and its partners are working hard every day to save lives and help children claim their future."

 

Today, safe water is being provided to some 1.2 million people through our partnership with other aid organizations and UNICEF is directly providing water to 330,000. More than 275,000 children have been immunized against major vaccine preventable diseases. Nutrition programmes are providing food to 550,000 children under five and lactating women and some 2000 children with severe acute malnutrition are now receiving life-saving therapeutic feeding and care. 500,000 children in total have received basic education materials, 185,000 children from UNICEF's own programmes. And special training has been provided to some 2,300 teachers and 3,000 education personnel.

The education sector was hard hit by this disaster, with 3,978 schools damaged or destroyed. This has compounded an already fragile situation where less than half of school-aged children were attending school before the earthquake.

Three months ago, the Government with the support of UNICEF took up the challenge of getting all Haiti's children into school. The focus now is to expand access to learning opportunities for all children, particularly the hardest to reach, across the nation. UNICEF is also working with the Government to alleviate the burden of school fees in a context where 90 per cent of schools are fee-based and not public.

To read the details of the 6 months Recovery of Haiti, please click here:
Children of Haiti: Milestones and looking forward at six months