Help at hand ... US Army soldiers unload supplies from a US Navy helicopter at the Port-au-Prince airport yesterday. Photo: AFP
The strongest earthquake in Haiti in more than 200 years, measuring 7.0 on the Richter scale, rocked the impoverished Caribbean nation on 12 January at 4.53 p.m. (local time). The earthquake struck Ouest Province (population 2.2 million), with the epicentre some 17km south-west of Haiti’s capital, Port-au-Prince. The nearby cities of Carrefour and Jacmel, as well as other areas to the west and south of Port-au-Prince, were also affected. Powerful aftershocks shook a desperately poor country where many buildings are flimsy. As of the publication of this Flash Appeal (15 January 2010), thousands are feared dead, many more are injured, and unknown numbers are still buried under the rubble. The streets of Port-au-Prince are filled with people too scared to go back into their damaged homes, sleeping in the open at night amidst the bodies of those killed in the disaster.
The level of casualties sustained by civil servants and the damage to public buildings and services have significantly reduced the capacity of national authorities to lead and coordinate the response. Damage to buildings and infrastructure is widespread and severe. Port-au-Prince’s critical infrastructure such as electricity and water is still disabled. The airport in Port-au-Prince is operational (currently for earthquake-related operational flights only), but roads to and within the capital are partly blocked. Communications remain widely disrupted, making it difficult to obtain a full picture of the situation. The damage to infrastructure – such as damaged or destroyed roads, bridges, water systems, and electrical and communications systems – will inevitably affect the speed and scale of the relief effort. Fortunately, areas beyond the capital appear to be less affected, if not unaffected, by the earthquake.
At the moment there is no way to be certain of the numbers of people killed, wounded, trapped, missing or homeless. However, plotting the earthquake’s zones of intensity against population densities in this part of Haiti shows that 3 million people were in areas of ‘very strong’ to ‘extreme’ shaking, where structures would have suffered moderate to very heavy damage. Early aerial surveys of Port-au-Prince bear this out. This response plan and appeal therefore are based on an initial estimate of 3 million people severely affected, in the sense of injury and/or loss of access to essentials such as food, water, health care, shelter, plus livelihoods, education and other basic needs, and on restoring and strengthening state capacities. In addition, much of the affected population will have been displaced, heightening the vulnerabilities. Because of the concentration of displaced people in Port-au-Prince, it is likely that some inhabitants will travel to areas outside the capital in search for shelter, food, medical care, etc. This would add demographic pressure on rural areas and other urban centres.
Assessments are now under way in Port-au-Prince to map comprehensively the consequences of earthquake. National and international efforts are expected to evolve and increase in the coming days and weeks. Initial international effort has focused on urban search and rescue, plus improving logistics and starting to provide large-scale aid including medical assistance and evacuation, water, food, tents and blankets. Logistics resources are paramount to ensuring delivery of relief items, and to establishing and managing camps/areas for the displaced. They will also be necessary to allow aid agencies to re-establish and scale up their capacities quickly.
Because of the damage to capacities of aid agencies themselves in Port-au-Prince, this rapid first edition of the flash appeal is based to a greater degree than usual on remote sensing, background information, estimation and inference. Moreover, because of the disaster’s scale and severity, it is being published faster than usual. For these reasons, much of the information and plans herein must be understood as very approximate. Subsequent situation reports will continually update the information, and a general appeal revision will follow as usual in some weeks when more information, better-developed plans, and participation by more organizations are possible.Based on currently available reports and assessments, and in coordination with the Haitian authorities, this Flash Appeal requires US$ 562 million for a planning and budgeting horizon of six months. (The $25 million allocation from the Central Emergency Response Fund / CERF will apply to this requirement.)
Basic humanitarian and development indicators for Haiti
Most recent data
10 million people
(Source: UNFPA’s State of World’s Population 2009)
Gross national income per capita
(Source: World Bank: Key Development Data & Statistics 2008)
Percentage of population living on less than $1.25 per day
54.9% for the years between 2000–2007 (Source: UNDP HDR 2009)
236 /1,000: Female
(WHO: Core indicators 2006)
670/100,000 live births
(UNICEF: Childinfo statistical tables)
77 /1,000: Female
(WHO: Core indicators 2006)
(WHO: Core indicators 20Number of health workforce (MD+nurse+midwife) per 10,000 population
2,783/10,000 (WHO: Core indicators 1998)
Measles immunization coverage among one-year-olds
(WHO: Core indicators 2005)
Food & Nutrition
Prevalence of under-nourishment in total population
58% (FAO Statistics: Prevalence of undernourishment 2004-2006)
Prevalence of underweight in
children under 5 years
18.9% (The IFPRI Global Hunger Index 2001-2006)
Food security indicator
1.8 million people food-insecure (FEWS NET October 2009)
Proportion of population without sustainable access to an improved drinking water source
58% (Joint Monitoring Project 2006, UNICEF/WHO)
Proportion of population without sustainable access to improved excreta disposal
(Joint Monitoring Project 2006, UNICEF/WHO)
Other vulnerability indices
ECHO Vulnerability and Crisis Index score
V: 2, C: 1.81 (out of scale 0-3)
(Source: ECHO GNA 2008-2009)
UNDP Human Development Index score0.532: 149th of 182 countries (Medium Human Development)
 US Geological Survey map, http://www.reliefweb.int/rw/rwb.nsf/db900sid/LPAA-7ZNC63?OpenDocument&rc=2&emid=EQ-2010-000009-HTI.
 All dollar signs in this document denote United States dollars. Funding for this Flash Appeal should be reported to the Financial Tracking Service (FTS, email@example.com).
 Data refer to the most recent year available during the period specified
Camp Coordination and Camp Management (CCCM) 1,300,000
Coordination and Support Services 10,487,579
Early Recovery 41,218,850
Emergency Shelter and Non-Food Items 37,250,000
Emergency Telecommunications 782,460
Food Aid 246,039,060
Water, Sanitation and Hygiene 58,825,000
Grand Total 562,060,654
* NOTE: evolving practice is to show funding per 'sector' (or sometimes 'cluster') following the sector groupings used in country, to be in accordance with the coordination structures on the ground and in the appeal text. Funding per standard IASC sector is also tracked, because the fixed standard allows comparison across appeals. FTS on-line tables will offer both groupings.
The figures for funding requirements in this document are valid as of 15 January 2010. Project budgets and requirements normally change during the course of the year.
For the latest funding requirements, contributions, and list of projects, see the Financial Tracking Service (FTS) on http://www.reliefweb.int/fts