The temblor heavily affected Les Cayes, the country’s third-largest city, and other cities in the South and Southwest of the country and was felt in the capital, Port-au-Prince. Photo: UNDSS Haiti

Port-Au-Prince, 16 August 2021. The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is working closely with Haiti’s government to respond to the country’s immediate needs following the massive 7.2-magnitude earthquake that struck southwestern Haiti Saturday morning.

In the hours after the quake, UNDP joined the Haitian Directorate of Civil Protection (Direction de la Protection Civile, DPC) at the National Emergency Operations Center to support the Haitian government and institutions with disaster response coordination and help the affected population.

“UNDP stands by the people and the government of Haiti to support immediate relief efforts in close coordination with national and international partners”, said Luis Felipe López Calva, UN Assistant Secretary-General and UNDP Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean.

At 8:30am on 14 August, the 7.2-magnitude earthquake struck the country’s southwest destroying parts of the country’s third largest city, Les Cayes, and surrounding areas. While the official death toll is climbing, officials say 1,200 people have been killed and thousands of buildings are destroyed or damaged. Relief and recovery efforts are hindered by debris blocking roads and vital infrastructure.   

As Haiti recovers from this devastating earthquake, the threat of another natural disaster is on the horizon. A fast-approaching Tropical Storm Grace, which formed in the eastern Caribbean, may impact the island and hamper aid and rescue efforts, as well as exposing an already vulnerable population to a double impact in just a few days.

UNDP remains in solidarity with the Haitian people and will continue to work side-by-side with national authorities, particularly Civil Protection in the response and recovery.

Media contacts:

In Panama:

Vanessa Hidalgo, vanessa.hidalgo@undp.org cel + 16463389462

In Haiti:

Borja Lopetegui, borja.lopetegui-gonzalez@undp.org cel +50931234002

Ruvens Ely Boyer, ruvens-ely.boyer@undp.org cel +50948948534

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