In just 35 terrifying seconds, everything came crashing down: homes razed, hospitals and schools destroyed, block after block turned to mangled mountains of rubble and dust. Thirty-five seconds that took 220,000 lives and made more than 1 million people homeless—thirty-five seconds that still resonate today. Saturday marks the third anniversary of the 7.0 magnitude earthquake that struck Haiti in 2010. Nearly 1.5 million children were directly affected by the disaster. The U.N. estimated that over a billion dollars would be needed for recovery, and the world’s outpouring of support to UNICEF and other organization was tremendous. We, and the children of Haiti, thank you.
January 20, 2010. Crowds walk past rubble and the ruins of buildings that were destroyed during the earthquake, in Port-au-Prince, Haiti's capital. © UNICEF/NYHQ2010-0088/Roger LeMoyneUNICEF, along with countless others, worked hard over the past three years to help the children and families affected by the quake. In some areas, children are better off now than they were before. Here are just some of the improvements that have been made since 2005:
- 77% of children are now attending primary school, up from 50% in 2005.
- Acute malnutrition among children under five has been reduced by half.
- The number of children who are underweight has been reduced by 44%.
- Twice as many people now have access to improved sanitation facilities.
- The immunization rate among children is now at 65%, up from 53%.