On January 12th, 2010, a 7.0 magnitude earthquake struck less than ten miles from the capital city of Haiti, Port-au-Prince.
The earthquake exacerbated the already precarious situation of the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. Approximately 220,000 people died, and over 300,000 were injured. In a devastating blow to the country’s limited infrastructure, one and a half million people became homeless, and 60% of government and administrative buildings collapsed, as well as 80% of schools in Port-au-Prince. At its peak, one and a half million people were living in improvised camps that lacked basic sanitation. In a desperate bid for survival, Haitians looted shops and scrambled for rations of food being distributed by the UN.
Two and a half years later, half a million Haitians still live in makeshift camps.