On January 12, 2010 a 7.0 magnitude earthquake struck the Caribbean island of Haiti and was followed by two aftershocks measuring 5.9 and 5.5 in magnitude.
The earthquake, described as the worst to hit Haiti in centuries, was centered ten miles to the south west of the island’s capital Port-au-Prince and killed more than 250,000 people in all.
ShelterBox responded immediately and by the next day had a team in the country to evaluate the situation.
With an estimated one million people left homeless after the earthquake, the need for emergency shelter was vital and within a week, 1,700 ShelterBoxes had been dispatched, with further 1,6000 being prepared to leave the UK.
The first ShelterBox tents to arrive were used by hospitals in Port-au-Prince to provide shelter for post-surgery patients as well as families with newborn babies and pregnant women.
Throughout 2010, ShelterBox continued to deliver aid to those who had lost everything after the earthquake, including the most remote of communities.
Phil Duloy, ShelterBox operations coordinator and response team member who spent several months in Haiti, said: ‘My favourite work in Haiti involved partnering with other agencies to head into the remote mountainous regions south of Leogane and Grand Goaves, accessible only by donkey and helicopter as we were able to provide shelter for more than 6,000 vulnerable people.’
In this time, more than 40 ShelterBox response members were deployed and around 28,000 boxes were distributed.
Five years after the disaster, ShelterBox is still helping people in Haiti and continues to work with the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) to help return displaced families to their communities.
With the continuing provision of aid, ShelterBox and IOM have helped to facilitate the return of more than 2,200 families, helping them to move on from the events of 2010.