USAID Haiti Earthquake Fact Sheet 3

Jan 16, 2010, 02:03 ET from USAID

WASHINGTON, Jan. 16 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ --


  • U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah announced plans to visit Haiti on January 16 to meet with Government of Haiti officials and the U.S. government (USG) field relief team and personally convey support to the people of Haiti.
  • Two additional disaster relief specialists have deployed to join the USAID Disaster Assistance Response Team (USAID/DART) in Haiti, bringing the team to 15 members.  The USAID/DART continues to assess priority humanitarian needs, and develop a strategy for coordinating the arrival and delivery of emergency relief supplies.  The USAID/DART also continues to liaise with U.N. Disaster Assessment and Coordination team and international donors regarding coordination of assistance efforts.  
  • Two USAID/OFDA-funded C-130 aircraft are carrying emergency relief supplies from the USAID/OFDA Miami warehouse to Port-au-Prince.  Commodities include 2,800 hygiene kits, 6,000 ten-liter water containers, 480 kitchen sets, and two mobile water treatment units.  The USAID/DART is receiving additional commodities on multiple daily flights from USAID/OFDA stockpiles in the U.S.
  • On January 15, the U.N. issued a flash appeal requesting approximately $562 million to support populations affected by the January 12 earthquake in Haiti.  The appeal prioritizes food aid, health, logistics, nutrition, shelter and settlements, and water, sanitation, and hygiene interventions, as well as emergency recovery activities.
  • As of 1600 hours local time, U.S. urban search and rescue (USAR) personnel had rescued or assisted in rescuing eleven individuals trapped under rubble.  
  • Two heavy USAR teams, comprising 160 rescue personnel and eight rescue canines from the Virginia Beach Fire and Rescue Department and the New York City Fire and Police departments, are expected to arrive in Haiti on January 15.

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Estimated Number of Deaths 

50,000 to 100,000 people     

PAHO(1)  – January 13

Estimated Affected Population

Approximately 3.5 million people

IFRC(2) – January 14

(1) Pan American Health Organization (PAHO)

(2) International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC)


Total FY 2010 USAID/OFDA Assistance to Haiti for the Earthquake


Total FY 2010 USAID/FFP Assistance to Haiti for the Earthquake


Total FY 2010 USAID Humanitarian Assistance to Haiti for the Earthquake


Current Situation


  • Preliminary assessments from IFRC indicate the earthquake affected approximately 3.5 million individuals.   On January 15, PAHO reported that the earthquake killed approximately 50,000 to 100,000 individuals.  However, humanitarian agencies note that the death toll remains unconfirmed.  
  • U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon stated on January 15 that the earthquake damaged or destroyed as much as 50 percent of buildings in the most-affected areas.  
  • On January 15 at 0841 hours local time, a magnitude 4.6 aftershock occurred in western Haiti, approximately 35 miles west-southwest of Port-au-Prince and 20 miles southwest of the epicenter of the January 12 earthquake.  The earthquake did not cause significant additional structural damage, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.
  • According to the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), on January 14, the U.N. established and coordinated meetings of five clusters—logistics, health, food, shelter and non-food items, and water, sanitation, and hygiene.

Search and Rescue Operations

  • On January 15, four 72-member USAR teams from Fairfax County, Los Angeles County, Miami-Dade County, and Miami City, and one 42-member team from Fairfax County continued to conduct search and rescue operations in affected areas.  In total, 330 U.S. USAR team members are contributing to the international effort.
  • Two USAID/OFDA-funded U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) communications specialists arrived in Port-au-Prince at approximately 0900 hours local time to develop a command and control communication network to support USAR teams and facilitate expanded search and rescue operations.  

Emergency Food Assistance

  • The U.N. Food Cluster estimates approximately two-thirds of earthquake-affected individuals, or 2 million people, currently require food assistance.  As such, the cluster has stated that an immediate need exists for an estimated 14,000 metric tons (MT) of food and 160 MT of high-energy biscuits for an initial seven-day period, when lack of water and cooking facilities will continue to render food preparation difficult.
  • On January 15, USAID/FFP announced the provision of an additional $30 million to U.N. World Food Program (WFP) emergency relief efforts in Haiti.  The contribution is in addition to the $18 million food aid contribution pledged on January 14.
  • The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) is providing 600,000 Humanitarian Daily Rations for WFP immediate relief efforts, scheduled to arrive in country on January 15.
  • Supported by the USAID Haiti Hurricane Reconstruction Fund, WFP and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) conducted three food distributions in Port-au-Prince on January 15 for 2,900 beneficiaries in Villa Creole, De Primateur, and Place Roya.  The distributions were in addition to the 3,000 distributions WFP completed in Jacmel on January 14.
  • A commercial vessel is expected to arrive on January 17 in the Haitian port of LaCayes, located approximately 100 miles southwest of Port-au-Prince, carrying approximately 2,100 MT of USAID/FFP food aid, including 1,200 MT of bulgur wheat and 900 MT of vegetable oil to benefit approximately 130,000 people for 30 days.
  • Additionally, USAID/FFP partners have confirmed availability of 7,146 MT of P.L. 480 Title II food aid already in-country.  USAID/FFP is working with these organizations to develop plans for the distribution of the commodities to earthquake-affected populations.


  • On January 15 at 1800 hours local time, four of the five 35-member U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Disaster Medical Assistance Teams (DMATs) arrived in Port-au-Prince to commence rapid-response medical care operations, as had a 35-member International Medical Surgical Response Team and a 35-member Incident Response Team.  The aircraft transporting the remaining DMAT and a Disaster Mortuary Operational Response Team was diverted to Turks and Caicos due to air traffic congestion.  The group is scheduled to depart for Haiti later on January 15.  
  • According to PAHO, at least eight hospitals and/or health centers are unable to function due to earthquake-related damage.  Functioning health facilities are overwhelmed, forcing individuals to seek treatment in makeshift areas.  At least 13 countries in North and South America have confirmed the deployment of medical teams, and 24 international search and rescue teams are operating in Haiti, with four additional teams en route.


  • IOM has commenced distribution of relief supplies, including tarpaulins, plastic sheeting and other shelter material, as well as water containers and bladders, according to OCHA.  The IOM supplies are sufficient for an estimated 10,000 families.
  • USAID/OFDA plans to continue to provide shelter materials, including plastic sheeting, to earthquake-affected families in Haiti.  

Logistics and Transportation

  • Haitian airspace is open only to humanitarian aircraft operating to and from Haiti airports, and over-flights are prohibited due to limited staffing, according to a January 15 U.N. Logistics Cluster report.
  • The U.N. Logistics Cluster reported that numerous aircraft continue to await a spot on the landing clearance ramp at Port-au-Prince Toussaint L'Ouverture International Airport (MTPP), some for multiple hours.  Other flights have been diverted to the Dominican Republic and Turks and Caicos, and no fuel is available at MTPP.
  • The Port-au-Prince port is currently inoperable.  A January 14 U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) port assessment indicated blockage on the road leading  to the port due to significant debris, severe damage to the port building,  as well as considerable damage to port piers.  USCG and DoD port assessments are ongoing.  
  • Traffic is beginning to clog the road from Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, to Port-au-Prince as aid organizations begin to transport relief commodities overland.  Humanitarian agencies have expressed concern that the relief operation-generated traffic could cause significant road deterioration.
  • USAID/OFDA is coordinating with DoD to establish an air bridge for daily transportation of emergency relief supplies on C-130 aircraft.  

USG Humanitarian Assistance

  • On January 12, USAID/OFDA activated a Washington D.C.-based Response Management Team (RMT) to support the USAID/DART that deployed to Haiti early on January 13 to assess humanitarian conditions and coordinate activities with the humanitarian community.
  • To date, USAID has provided nearly $85 million in humanitarian assistance for the Haiti earthquake.
  • DoD has been supporting the humanitarian response through transportation of emergency relief personnel and commodities into Haiti.  In addition, several U.S. military ships, including the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson, are currently positioned near Haiti to provide tactical and operational support to the emergency response operation.    USAID and DoD will continue to conduct transport missions of relief supplies to Haiti in the coming days."
  • USAID/OFDA continues to communicate with partners on the ground to assess and prioritize humanitarian needs, including for emergency relief supplies, shelter and food assistance, and health and water, sanitation, and hygiene services.  The humanitarian community is currently focusing on life-saving search and rescue operations.
  • On January 13, U.S Ambassador to Haiti Kenneth H. Merten declared a disaster due to the effects of the earthquake.  In response, USAID/OFDA provided an initial $50,000 through the U.S. Embassy in Port-au-Prince for the implementation of an emergency response program.  USAID/OFDA is providing additional assistance in accordance with the findings of USAID/DART and humanitarian community assessments, as access to affected groups expands over the coming days.  

USAID Humanitarian Assistance to Haiti FOR THE EARTHQUAKE

FY 2010

Implementing Partner







Affected Areas



Search and Rescue

Affected Areas



Emergency Response Activities

Affected Areas


Administrative Costs

Affected Areas






14,550 MT of P.L. 480 Title II Emergency Food Assistance

Affected Areas




Affected Areas











(1) USAID/OFDA funding represents anticipated or actual obligated amounts as of January 15, 2010.  

(2) Estimated value of food assistance.

Public Donation Information

  • The most effective way people can assist relief efforts is by making cash contributions to humanitarian organizations that are conducting relief operations.  Information on organizations responding to the humanitarian situation in Haiti may be available at  
  • USAID encourages cash donations because they allow aid professionals to procure the exact items needed (often in the affected region); reduce the burden on scarce resources (such as transportation routes, staff time, warehouse space, etc); can be transferred very quickly and without transportation costs; support the economy of the disaster-stricken region; and ensure culturally, dietary, and environmentally appropriate assistance.
  • More information can be found at:
    • USAID: – Keyword:  Donations
    • The Center for International Disaster Information: or (703) 276-1914
    • Information on relief activities of the humanitarian community can be found at

USAID/OFDA bulletins appear on the USAID web site at