News story

Haiti earthquake – the UK response

On 12 January 2010, a 7.0 earthquake struck Haiti, killing over 200,000 people. Follow Britain's response and see how UK aid helped more than a million people to recover.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

12 January 2012

Two years on: the road to recovery

As recovery efforts continue into their third year, UK aid has focussed on the most pressing needs of those who are slowly rebuilding their lives.

British support has helped to rebuild homes, prepare for future disasters and prevent the spread of disease in the ongoing aftermath, including:

  • Support for more than 16,200 structural damage assessments in the town of Leogane and repairs that enabled 340 families to return home
  • Helping to build back health centres and hospitals to safe standards
  • Developing small-scale insurance schemes to help people protect their assets in case of future disasters
  • Funding 192 local doctors and over 700 support staff to provide treatment for cholera. The medical help meant not one of the 23,000 patients treated died from the disease.

The UK continues to support Haiti through its contribution to global agencies like the UN, EU and World Bank, who are best placed to lead efforts on the ground. For the full update on our support so far, download our factsheet.

10 January 2011

Haiti: one year on from disaster

One year ago today, on 10 January 2010, a devastating earthquake struck the Caribbean nation of Haiti. The scale of the tragedy is hard to comprehend: an estimated 222,000 dead, more than 300,000 seriously injured, 1.5 million people in need of emergency shelter.

Within an hour of receiving reports about the earthquake, DFID’s humanitarian response team was helping to co-ordinate relief efforts, working around the clock over the following days and weeks.

To find out more about how the UK Government responded to the earthquake in Haiti, read our feature Haiti: one year on from disaster, or scroll down this page to see previous news updates.

28 November 2010

UK to boost fight against cholera in Haiti

The UK is to help supply more than a thousand trained medical staff and emergency supplies to Haiti to help fight the worsening cholera epidemic and prevent the infection from spreading across the region, including the British Overseas Territories, International Development Secretary, Andrew Mitchell, announced today.

The announcement follows the latest warning from the UN that up to 400,000 people could be infected by the disease in the next six months - a significant increase on the number predicted two weeks ago. More than 1,400 people have already died from the disease.

The UK Government will fund 115 doctors, 920 nurses and 740 support staff from the region to set up 12 major cholera treatment centres and 60 subsidiary cholera treatment units. These will be capable of treating several thousands of cholera victims over the next two months through £2 million of funding to the Pan American Health Organisation.

Read the full news story

19 November 2010

Britain to reinforce humanitarian support in Haiti

The British Government is sending an assessment mission to Haiti to reinforce our support and monitoring of the cholera outbreak, International Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell said today.

Cholera is spreading at an alarming rate across Haiti. 1,100 people have already died from the disease, thousands of people are infected and the number continues to rise steeply.

A team of humanitarian experts from the UK Government will arrive in Port au Prince tomorrow to join DFID’s regional humanitarian adviser, who has been on the ground for a week, to assess the international response to date.

09 July 2010

Haiti: six months on from disaster

Six months on from the earthquake, find out how the UK has helped thousans of people, through organisations like Merlin, Handicap International, Action Against Hunger and Oxfam. UKaid support has helped to distribute food, improve water and sanitation and provide transitional shelter to thousands of earthquake survivors. Read more

In pictures: Haiti - six months on**

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11 May 2010

Video: the UK’s continuing work in Haiti

Video about how the Department for International Development is helping more than 350,000 people with water, shelter, food, medical care and other essential supplies.

24 March 2010

Earthquakes and prison breaks: UKaid in Haiti

This press release has been archived.

Read the archived press release

19 February 2010

UK aid ship, RFA Largs Bay, arrives in Haiti

Hundreds of tonnes of vital aid has arrived in Haiti on board the Royal Fleet Auxiliary ship, Largs Bay, after a 16-day, 4,000-mile trip.

It will unload 4x4s, port-handling equipment, shelter materials and water purification tablets before making trips up and down the Haiti coast for the UN’s World Food Programme (WFP).

The ship left Southampton on February 3 with a crew of 127 from Royal Fleet Auxiliary, the Royal Navy, the Royal Marines and the Army.


12 February 2010

Haiti earthquake: one month on

On January 12, the Caribbean nation of Haiti - one of the poorest in the western world - was struck by a massive 7.0-magnitude earthquake.

The worst for two centuries there, the quake hit south of the capital Port-au-Prince, killing more than 200,000 people - including many NGO and UN employees, injuring 300,000 and leaving more than 1.5 million others in need of shelter.

One month on, the international aid effort has shifted from search and rescue activity to stability in Haiti and its long-term rehabilitation.

Following life-saving work by the UK search and rescue (SAR) teams - the first of which reached Haiti 48 hours after the quake - DFID is now focused on helping co-ordinate a complex relief effort to limit delays and anxiety among Haitians.

Read more about how we have helped over the past month

A nose for survival: on the ground with the UK’s search and rescue team

Around 48 hours after the earthquake struck, the first of the UK’s 64-strong search and rescue team was out looking for survivors in Port-au-Prince’s collapsed streets.

They were quickly followed by others - operating in six teams - from across the UK’s Fire and Rescue Service.

With two specially trained dogs, Holly and Echo, they rescued four survivors from the rubble in ten days.

Read more about their mission

How you can help

Anyone wishing to help should do so in the form of money donations as other help may cause problems with the aid effort on the ground.

Make donations to the DEC appeal for Haiti.

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Updates to this page

Published 12 January 2012