What DEC members are doing in Haiti


One month on from the devastating earthquake that struck Haiti on January 12th 2010, the international relief effort is increasingly meeting many survivors’ urgent needs for medical care, food and clean water. But massive challenges remain – especially in the crucial areas of emergency shelter and the provision of latrines to help prevent the spread of infectious diseases.

The Disasters Emergency Committee’s members and their partners are playing a crucial role in helping the people of Haiti to rebuild their lives, by delivering immediate emergency relief to hundreds of thousands of people and by preparing to help Haiti “build back better” over future years, so that the Haitian people are left safer from future disasters and better off than they were.

So far the aid agencies have been involved in the establishment of 59 hospitals in Port au Prince and are also focusing on the population’s other urgent medical needs. They have supported the delivery of food assistance through the UN World Food Programme, which by mid-February has reached over 3.4 million people, with 850,000 people receiving 5 litres of water per day.

They have been providing non-food items such as blankets, hygiene kits, new-born kits and tarpaulins; helping vulnerable groups including children, pregnant women, the disabled and the elderly; delivering psycho-social support for survivors; working to improve sanitation and constructing latrines; and distributing seeds and materials for the planting season.

Here are some of the activities that they have been carrying out. Please follow the links to find out more.

Action Aid

  • Established regular feeding programme for more than 15,000 people and will reach another 12,000 during mid-February
  • Planning to give out seeds and tools in Jacmel within the coming weeks – before the planting season starts in March
  • Will work to protect women from violence in the camps from displaced people
  • Will work in areas less affected by the earthquake that have seen an influx of people from the areas which were harder hit
  • Extra assistance has been given to vulnerable groups including pregnant women, the disabled and the elderly
  • Next focus will be on providing shelter ahead of the rainy season in March, helping children get back to school and people get back to work. Also trauma healing for those who have lost loved ones and been left in shock by the earthquake


British Red Cross

  • Daily water distribution to 200,000 people – 1,000,000 litres provided a day
  • More than 500 people are receiving health care and treatment in the Red Cross Red Crescent health facilities every day
  • Trained local staff are providing psycho-social support for survivors
  • More than 99,000 people have received non-food items, such as blankets, kitchen sets, tarpaulins, jerry cans and hygiene sets to meet their immediate needs
  • 140,000 people benefiting from an emergency vaccination campaign during February. People vaccinated mainly against measles, but also against diphtheria and tetanus. The campaign concentrates on people living in camps.
  • Teamed up with mobile phone company ComCel. For 10 days more than a million ComCel subscribers per day receiving health, shelter and sanitation messages to help them avoid epidemics
  • Providing sanitation and hygiene promotion to 20,000 people in two camps


Cafod (Caritas)

  • Caritas has provided food to 200,205 people, and non-food items (including essential aid such as blankets, water purification tablets, tents and tarpaulins) to more than 25,000 people
  • Between 18-30 January, in two medical clinics at Leogane, four volunteer Haitian medical doctors along with two members of staff from Caritas Germany treated a total of 3250 patients for multiple ailments with the main activities related to stitching and dressing. Water purification tablets were also distributed to 400 families and 12 health promotion briefings were held. In Petit Goaive and La Renaissance between 19-26 January, 2772 patients were treated
  • Latrine construction has been carried out at the Hospital Jean de Salle
  • The team is setting up a sanitation scheme for Champs de Mars – a huge internally displaced persons camp around the Presidential Palace where 30,000 people have sought refuge
  • Shelter kit materials have arrived. Distributions for 35,000 people at Pétionville Country Club took place in early February


CARE International

  • Distributions of food, water purification packets, water, jerry cans, hygiene kits, mattresses, blankets, newborn kits and clean delivery kits have reached more than 241,000 people
  • Food distributions to at least 90,000 individuals. Considering additional food distributions in Léogâne
  • 3,000 water purification packets
  • More than 10,000 hygiene kits, with a special focus on the needs of women (each kit includes: toothbrushes, toothpaste, soap, detergent, shampoo, comb, towels, safety pins, clothes line, sanitary towels, toilet paper)
  • Over 7,000 mattresses (priority given to families of pregnant women and women with children)
  • Over 11,000 blankets
  • Clean delivery kits to pregnant women to help them deliver more safely in emergency situations (each kit includes plastic sheeting, gloves, razor, gauze)
  • Infant kits (which include nappies, receiving blanket, layette gown, safety pins, soap, booties)
  • 10 water storage bladders – providing potable water to 15,000 people daily
  • Installation of 100 latrines. In all, we will construct 3,000 latrines in the settlements


Christian Aid

  • With local partner, Haiti Suvie, distributing food, tents and hygiene kits to displaced families
  • Additional surgical staff are assisting with medical needs, setting up mobile health and nutrition clinics and running assessments
  • Providing hoes, picks and seeds to farmers to help prepare for planting season in June to secure supply of food
  • Working with a local cooperative to distribute cash to affected households – stimulating local markets and allowing families to decide themselves what supplies they need
  • Ensuring school fees are available for displaced children
  • Working with local partner RNDHH, given out money to families to buy rations directly from local markets that will last for more than a month for a family of five
  • Baby and hygiene kits sent to families who lost relatives or their homes in neighbourhoods in Port-au-Prince
  • Supplying rations through partner Haiti Survie to hundreds of families and planning for longer term recovery work



  • Delivered and distributed critical medical supplies, ready-made therapeutic food and water from the outset
  • Coordinating water distributions for 50,000 people, a cash for work clean-up campaign, soap distribution for 15,000 people, temporary latrines for 15,000 people and emergency shelter for around 25,000 people
  • Setting up seven emergency nutrition sites to treat 2,500 children up to the age of one. Three further nutrition centres will treat 1,800 children under the age of five, providing food and counseling, 30,000 people will also receive tents and plastic sheeting
  • Giving 10,000 women a cash allowance of $75 dollars while 10,000 men will receive cash for clean up and sanitation work, working three days per week for three months


Help the Aged

  • Working through local partners, we are delivering healthcare to older people in several nursing homes and ten temporary camps
  • Distributing well-being kits and emergency relief (including rice, sugar, cornmeal, corned beef, sardines, water, tarpaulin, cup soup, biscuits, cooking oil and adult diapers) to more than 600 older people and their families
  • Broadcasting a Creole-language radio programme on how to care for older people during a disaster
  • Working with local and international agencies to set up Vulnerability Focal Points in nine of the worst affected areas around Port au Prince in order to provide information, referral services and mobile teams to provide outreach and relief assistance to vulnerable communities
  • On February 24th, HelpAge International assumed day-to-day management of Port-au-Prince Municipal Nursing Home


Islamic Relief

  • Organised the first camp in Port-au-Prince for around 200 families in Parc St Clare, and a second for 1,100 families in Accra Nord and our work is focused around supporting the displaced people living in these two sites
  • Regular food distributions and clean water to around 1300 families in camps and surrounding areas
  • Hygiene kits, plastic sheeting and kitchen sets have been distributed to the 1,300 families living in the two camps set up by Islamic Relief



  • Established a field hospital with a fully-equipped operating theatre, two major operating tables and a 40 bed in-patient capacity. It is called “Wimbledon” as it was set up on disused tennis courts
  • Surgeons, anaesthetists and specialist nurses, are seeing around 110 patients a day and performing complex surgical procedures on up to ten cases a day
  • Carried out over 100 life saving operations and flown in 33 tonnes of medical equipment and supplies. This includes enough basic medicine for a population of 70,000 for three months
  • Preparing mobile clinics for underserved areas outside of Port-au-Prince which will be diagnosing and swiftly treating potentially fatal diseases such as acute diarrhoea, malaria and respiratory infections
  • Planning to stay in Haiti for as long as it is needed, working with local partners and the Ministry of Health to train local health workers and rehabilitate and re-equip health centres destroyed in the earthquake.



  • Is now reaching nearly 170,000 people including by providing clean, fresh water and sanitation facilities.
  • Has provided assistance to about 100,000 people by providing clean, fresh water and sanitation facilities. Plans to reach at least 500,000 people by the end of July
  • Providing water at four sites in and around Port-au-Prince; also funding work on the water infrastructure in Croix des Bouquets, east of Port-au-Prince
  • Cash-for-work schemes in operation in four areas - Petionville, Baillergeau, Carrefour-Feuille and Carrefour
  • Preparing shelter kits for distribution
  • Building latrines for sanitation to prevent the spread of diseases. Has installed latrines at 11 key sites and many more are planned
  • Public health teams working with communities to reduce the risk of disease by rubbish-clearing and awareness-raising


Save the Children

  • Food distributions have reached over 120,000 people, including 72,000 children, to date. This number will continue to increase as distributions in Port au Prince continue during February.
  • Helped 48,055 people with non-food items including blankets, plastic sheets, jerry cans, hygiene kits and other non-food items
  • Providing clean water for 59,200 people daily
  • 156 emergency latrines completed benefiting 7,800 people
  • 14 mobile health teams have seen a total of 10,630 patients at 45 locations
  • Screening children for malnutrition and vaccinating against measles
  • Provided safe, child friendly spaces for 15,000 children through, involving 110 community volunteers
  • Running the main family tracing centre with Red Cross and others



  • Through a local partner, working in two refugee camps in Delmas 33, Port-au-Prince, with combined capacity for 12,000 people
  • Supporting local churches and schools that have opened their gates to increasing numbers of displaced people – providing food, water, shelter and security for people who have lost their homes
  • Supporting King’s Hospital, run by World Relief, which is offering treatment in the capital
  • Working with education partners to develop an integrated programme of school rehabilitation and child health clubs


World Vision

  • Has distributed items to more than 719,000 people in Port au Prince area
  • Distributed food to more than 325,000 people
  • Given non-food items such as clean water, blankets, tarpaulins, hygiene kits, kitchen sets and collapsible water cans to more than 250,000
  • 800 children are attending World Vision's safe spaces (known as child-friendly spaces)
  • Established five child-friendly spaces, now running activities for Haiti's children
  • Setting up and supplying two mobile health clinics
  • Distributing maternity kits to more than 100 women
  • Facilitating health dramas in six internally displaced camps, promoting health messages
  • 17 latrines complete, 130 more planned