Rebuilding Haiti: Debris Management, Reconstruction and Employment Promotion after the 2010 Earthquake

The devastating earthquake of 12 January 2010 in Haiti affected more than 3 million people. Up to 160,000 people lost their lives in the earthquake, which measured a disastrous 7.0 on the Richter scale, destroying parts of the Haitian capital Port-Au-Prince and surrounding areas. With thousands of people left homeless and unemployed, the earthquake led to an estimated economic loss of US$ 7.9 billion, exacerbating an already feeble national economy. Survivors were also exposed to serious health and environmental hazards. With a country left in ruins, building material for reconstruction was hard to come by, and the best way to manage the debris was to reuse the earthquake rubble. To effectively rebuild the country, there was a need to create and develop skills for recycling and transforming debris for reconstruction.

Four UN entities joined forces in the debris management project (funded by the Haiti Reconstruction Fund (HRF), a multi-donor trust fund) and the neighbourhood rehabilitation project (funded by the HRF and the Canadian International Development Agency): the International Labour Organization (ILO); the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP); the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS); and the United Nations Human Resettlement Programme (UN Habitat).