January 12, 2015 marks the fifth anniversary of the earthquake that caused over 200,000 deaths and left thousands of Haitians homeless. Within hours of the earthquake, WFP began handing out emergency food which reached more than four million Haitians in the coming months.
These short videos show the scale and devastation of an earthquake that became one of WFP’s most complex operations.
4:53pm, January 12, 2010
At 4:53 pm on January 12 a high-magnitude 7.0 earthquake struck Haiti transforming its capital, Port-au-Prince, into a disaster area. As well as the loss of lives, the earthquake dealt a severe blow to Haiti’s economy, which was already one of the weakest in the northern hemisphere.
Port-au-Prince from above
Those with nowhere to go congregated in parks and open spaces - too afraid to return to their destroyed homes.
Where the names have no streets
The earthquake destroyed or wrecked thousands of buildings in and around the capital, leaving a large number of people homeless.
Chaos and hunger
Despite extreme chaos and damaged communications facilities, WFP responded within 24 hours, facing unprecedented logistical challenges.
Distributing food within 24 hours
Some WFP staff were already based in Haiti. Though many had themselves lost loved ones and their homes, within hours they were getting food to survivors. High Energy Biscuits – light and easily transportable – were vital in the immediate aftermath. Within weeks, rice, beans, oil, sugar and salt were reaching hospitals, orphanages, and neighbourhoods in the affected areas.
Attracting children back to school
With the support of the Haitian Government, WFP school meals helped to attract students back to school after the earthquake. A daily school meal encouraged parents to send their children back to school and ensured they received at least one hot meal per day.
Today, WFP continues to support the government and people of Haiti in its recovery and in its ability to withstand potential future disasters.This year, WFP continues to provide school meals, supports communities in becoming self-sufficient food providers and implements emergency preparedness activities to assist some 1.2 million vulnerable Haitians.