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Haiti Earthquake: One Year After

January 12, 2011

It was last year this day, Jan 12th, when a powerful 7.0 earthquake shook Haiti and what remained afterwards were rubbles, dead bodies,  crying and wounded survivors. The tragic event killed more than 200,000 people and completely destroyed the capital city Port-au-Prince. Countries promised aid money and resources, non-profit organizations rushed to help the survivors but even after one year much need to be done. Only 5% of rubble in the capital city has been cleared till now; less than 10% of promised aid money has been delivered. Non-profit organizations helped in rehabilitating the survivors, but the whole effort has been so uncoordinated that it has,at many instances, made the situation worse. Nature has been cruel to Haitians, during the past year they encountered hurricanes and thunderstorms and that too while living in make-shift tents.  Currently the country is reeling under Cholera epidemic. Haitians are known for their resilience but the NGOs and other nations need to do better job in coordinating the Haiti rebuilding activities. Just the funds, promises and volunteerism will not work, proper planning is needed and hopefully this year things will pick up and situation will improve for Haitians.

About the above picture: Beaudin Lovinsky, a 4-year-old orphan, is dropped off with his belongings in a suitcase by his uncle (left) to be placed in the Children’s Foundation of Haiti orphanage, which is currently housed in makeshift tents in a tent city near the airport on January 10, 2011 in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Lovinsky’s mother perished in the earthquake and his uncle said he could no longer afford to take care of him. It is common for Haitian families to place children they cannot afford to care for in orphanages. The orphanage’s building was damaged by the earthquake, forcing many of the orphans into tents. The orphanage has received no governmental assistance and little help from aid groups. According to the United Nations Children’s Fund, Haiti was home to more than 350,000 orphans before the earthquake, with many more orphaned following the quake. UNICEF recently announced that around 380,000 Haitian children are still living in camps one year after the earthquake.

Picture credit: Boston.com/Bigpicture |Mario Tama/Getty Images

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