Canada’s Response to the Devastating Earthquake

On January 12, 2010, a catastrophic earthquake measuring 7.0 on the Richter scale struck Haiti, close to Port-au-Prince. The quake caused widespread devastation and loss of life. Hundreds of thousands of Haitians and foreign nationals, including Canadians, died or were injured in the quake's aftermath.

The Government of Canada mounted rapid and comprehensive humanitarian and consular efforts, involving multiple federal government departments and agencies. Canada acted swiftly to evacuate 4,620 Canadians citizens and permanent residents on 49 flights from Haiti.

Following the earthquake, the Canadian Forces (CF) dispatched approximately 2,000 personnel from the Army, Navy and Air Force to provide search and rescue, medical care, humanitarian assistance, such as food and water delivery, and security and engineering services. CF personnel provided nearly 1.5 million meals, 2.6 million litres of potable water and medical care for over 22,000 people in the aftermath of the earthquake.

In the aftermath of the earthquake, Canadian police provided humanitarian relief, assisted with first aid and provided security in Port-au-Prince, Jacmel and outlying regions. The RCMP also participated in the Interpol-led Disaster Victim Identification mission to facilitate the identification and repatriation of victims believed to be Canadian.

Supporting Humanitarian Assistance, Recovery and Reconstruction Efforts, and Long-term Development

Canada’s development assistance to Haiti is delivered by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) and it focuses on sustainable economic growth, children and youth, food security and governance, as well as new post-earthquake reconstruction priorities.

Supporting Humanitarian Assistance
Supporting Humanitarian Assistance
© ACDI-CIDA / Photo : Jean-François Leblanc

Canada is playing a leadership role in the reconstruction of Haiti, serving as a voting member on the Interim Haiti Recovery Commission and the Haiti Reconstruction Fund.

To date the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) has disbursed $150.15 million in immediate humanitarian and early recovery assistance. These funds have helped to provide Haitians with emergency medical services, relief supplies, water and sanitation and shelter. Through this funding, CIDA has contributed to the provision of food aid to 4.3 million Haitians, provision of water to 1.2 million people, 370,000 Haitians have received an emergency shelter, relief supplies were distributed to over 2.2 million people, and medical care services to 90% of displaced individuals in Port-au-Prince.

At the International Donors' Conference ‘Towards a New Future for Haiti’, held in New York on March 31, Canada pledged $400 million over two years to support the Government of Haiti's National Action Plan for Recovery and Development This pledge is in addition to Canada's ongoing development assistance program in Haiti ($555 million for 2006-2011) and it brings the Canadian government's total support for Haiti to over $1 billion from 2006 to 2012.

Haitian Orphans Adopted by Canadian Families – Operation Stork

Canada's further contributionto relief, early recovery and reconstruction in Haiti.

The official visits made by the Government of Canada’s high level representatives since the earthquake ensured a frank and solid political dialogue with the Haitian authorities as well as extending our solidarity to the people of Haiti.