Two years ago today, a massive earthquake struck the nation of Haiti, causing catastrophic damage inside and around the capital city of Port-au-Prince. Nearly a quarter of a million lives were lost, more than 300,000 people were injured, and more than a million people were left homeless.
In the two years since the disaster, Americans have joined people from all over the world to help Haiti recover and rebuild. A U.S. Coast Guard team, a disaster assistance response team, and portions of two U.S. urban search and rescue teams were on the ground 24 hours after the earthquake. In the weeks and months that followed, one in every two American households sent contributions to Haiti. With the support of the United States and the help of partner organizations, the Haitian government has led an effort to ensure people have better access to water, food, and medical care than ever before. Many organizations remain in the country today to continue this work.
Three months after the earthquake, First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden traveled to Haiti to see the devastation first hand. They met many of the people working to rebuild and restore the country, as well as many Haitians who were hopeful for the future of their nation. (See a full-size slideshow of photos from their trip.)
On the anniversary of the earthquake last year, President Obama reaffirmed our support of the recovery process in Haiti, calling it one of the largest humanitarian efforts ever attempted. And Vice President Biden, who visited Miami's Little Haiti shortly aftter the earthquake, held a briefing with Haitian American leaders at the White House to discuss progress and goals.