Haiti, once a wealthy French colony is now one of the poorest countries in the world.
The New Year has started anything else but well. On the 12th of January at 4.53pm local time a 7.0-magnitude earthquake hit the country causing horrendous damage and loss of life.
According to official government figures, the death toll has amounted to approximately 150,000 people. Other estimations approach 200,000.
Aid agencies have referred to Haiti as one of the most serious crises ever. Planes and ships have had problems delivering aid due to an overstrained airport and a damaged port.
A severe lack of depots, trucks and fuel as well as damaged roads have further complicated the distribution of aid.
Given these challenges, the US Army has come under criticism for how they have managed the airport in the centre of the capital, Port-au-Prince.
Medecins Sans Frontieres (Also known as ‘Doctors without Borders’) have claimed that priority has been given to military supplies before humanitarian ones.
The British public and businesses have been ready to help. The Disaster Emergency Committee, an UK umbrella organisation with members such as Oxfam and World Vision, announced a receipt of ?38 million in donations.
On the 6th of March, there will also be an Oxfam fund-raising event at Bristol’s Lakota nightclub with various kinds of music.
Hillary Clinton, US Secretary of State announced that “Haiti can come back even better and stronger in the future”. Yet, it remains to be seen whether the short term aid will be matched by a long term commitment to help Haiti.