Residents of an earthquake displacement camp near Petionville in metropolitan Port-au-Prince receive emergency relief
Residents of an earthquake displacement camp in metropolitan Port-au-Prince receive pre-positioned emergency relief commodities through a USAID/OFDA humanitarian partner during Hurricane Isaac (August 2012).
Johs Pierce USAID

Key Developments

Beginning on October 24, 2012, strong rains associated with Hurricane Sandy caused widespread flooding and mudslides in southern Haiti and parts of the capital, Port-au-Prince, resulting in 54 deaths. According to the Government of Haiti (GoH), approximately 28,000 people from South, Southeast, Grand Anse, and Nippes departments evacuated to temporary shelters, although displaced people began returning to home areas within days. In Port-au-Prince, nearly 80 of the city’s 541 earthquake displacement camps experienced localized flooding and some shelter damage. On October 23, in preparation for Hurricane Sandy, USAID’s Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID/OFDA) activated an assessment and response team—comprising USAID/OFDA staff and local surge capacity consultants—to evaluate humanitarian conditions and response options. The assessment team reported that the storm destroyed 90,400 hectares of cropland, killed 64,000 livestock, and damaged 34,000 homes. The storm also caused significant damage to infrastructure, including water and sanitation facilities.

On October 31, 2012, U.S. Ambassador Pamela A. White declared a disaster due to the effects of the hurricane. In response, USAID/OFDA provided $50,000 through USAID/Haiti to Catholic Relief Services for the provision of agricultural supplies in affected areas. USAID/OFDA also provided an additional $50,000 to address humanitarian needs in priority relief sectors. This assistance supplemented USAID/OFDA emergency relief supplies—valued at more than $415,000—distributed immediately following the hurricane from pre-positioned stocks.


USAID/OFDA not only responds to urgent needs related to humanitarian emergencies, but also funds programs that leave communities stronger and more resilient to future disasters. In Haiti, recurrent floods and landslides associated with the hurricane and rainy seasons, and unpredictable events—such as the January 2010 earthquake and the cholera outbreak that began in October 2010—require USAID/OFDA to focus both on providing immediate response to affected populations and on supporting disaster risk reduction programs that promote local and national self-sufficiency in disaster preparedness and management. Since the earthquake in 2010, USAID/OFDA has provided more than $450 million to assist affected populations and build resilience in Haiti.

Since 2003, USAID/OFDA has responded to 13 disaster events in Haiti, including tropical storms, hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, a cholera outbreak, and food insecurity.

Related Sectors of Work 

Last updated: August 12, 2013

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